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Thread: Posting etiquette?

  1. #1
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    Moderators, Universes, Superclusters, experienced UTers,
    As a newbie, I have found that half of the challenge here is to translate the acronyms; half is to understand the smilies and all of the other trimmings; half is to understand the argument threads; and half is to find the similar threads elsewhere - that's 4 halves! No wonder I'm beside myself!

    Is there a guidebook on posting etiquette? (you know, "Forum participation for dummies!") A glossary of terms for acronyms?

    I found the one on rules (no flaming or shouting or taboo topics), but not the rest of it (eg, multiple quotes in one posting); but mostly the acronyms (what does OOM mean?) - the rest can wait.

  2. #2
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    I reckon that you should just give it a go and see how you get on. As long as you are polite (ish&#33 and not overly aggresive, then you'll be fine. If you step over any lines, someone will point it out....

  3. #3
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    Thank you, Jakenorrish,

    but that still doesn't tell me what OOM means....

  4. #4

  5. #5
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    Hey Cran.

    I often write private messages to people who use acronyms excessively, asking them to stop. I also find it a bit annoying.

    OOM, in most contexts in here anyway, means Order Of Magnitude.

    feel free to write us a glossary if you find more answers.

  6. #6
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    Uranut, thank you - I will follow up those links.

    Josh, thank you also; I'll certainly consider putting together such a glossary, but I'm still getting over the last glossary of terms I prepared for first year geoscience students ('accretion and differentiation in planetary formation models' - catchy title, huh?); but what is the number (1.618...)? It seems like it should be familiar, but it ain't!

  7. #7
    Planetwatcher Guest
    cran;
    Thankyou for raising some important issues.
    Most of the smilies are self explaining. The stickist ones in my book are
    top center which I liken to 'Oh my God!'
    Rolleyes, 'Not this again."
    Blink, 'Difficult to understand.'
    Top right is wink.
    Two below that one is 'suspicious'
    The one with the sunglasses 'Hey that's cool'.
    and the bottom right, the black one, 'I put my foot in it this time.' or 'This is going to **** somebody off.' or 'This pisses me off.' or 'discusting'
    tongue out, 'happy',
    grinning, 'happier,'

    Anyway that's my interpretation.

    As for acromnins, look for it's first usage, or ask. Nobody will fault you for it.
    But some you will frequently see are

    'C', the speed of light
    '>C', slower then light
    'C>', faster then light
    U.T., Universe Today
    B.A., Bad Astronomy (Another space discussion forum simular to ours. Many members belong to both.)
    LOL, Lots of luck
    IMHO, In my humble opinion (usually means I think I'm right)
    ROTFL, Rolling on the floor laughing,
    'E', energy

    I don't even know what 'OOM' means.
    Can't think of any others just now.

    Arguments can occur anywhere, but are mostly confiened to the alternate theories sections. Don't be afraid to express your point.
    Just don't call names and try to be poite.

    Most of all, no question, that is to say no honest question will ever get you a bloody nose here on U.T. (Universe Today)

    Rethorital, sarcastic, and know it all questons however will seldom NOT get you a bloody nose as well.

    If you ever have an honest and real complaint that none of us mods are any help over, you will find our sysop Fraser to be fair and honest, and quick to respond.

    Hope this helps you, and hope to see more from you on here.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Aug 2 2005, 10:32 AM

    'C', the speed of light
    '>C', slower then light
    'C>', faster then light
    U.T., Universe Today
    B.A., Bad Astronomy (Another space discussion forum simular to ours. Many members belong to both.)
    LOL, Lots of luck
    IMHO, In my humble opinion (usually means I think I'm right)
    ROTFL, Rolling on the floor laughing,
    'E', energy
    lol= lots of luck???

    I always thought it was laugh(ing) out loud. I've never heard of "lots of luck" ever before. Maybe I live in a dilusional world. Well, I do. So maybe I just don't know what lol stands for.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by cran@Aug 2 2005, 08:37 PM
    but what is the number (1.618...)? It seems like it should be familiar, but it ain't!

    That number is the golden number, phi. It, like pi, is an irrational number. Here is some info on the golden number / ratio.

    LOL, Lots of luck
    Lol means "laugh out loud"

    A few people have started using the notation 2c, at the end of their post. It just refers to "that my 2 cents".

    We use quite a few scientific acronymns here. So it is usually assumed that people know what 'c' is (speed of light). Or what a ly is (light year).

  10. #10
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    About OOM:

    It may be that I am partly responsible for much of its use here in UT (I certainly do use it a lot).

    The basic idea is to talk about how big (or small) something is in a way that's more accurate than just ordinary English words, but without needing to get tied up with too much precision.

    For example, both the Earth and the Sun are 'bigger' than the Moon, with Sun being 'much bigger'. But then, the Milky Way galaxy is also 'much bigger' too. So, instead of trying to add lots of 'much', we could talk about how much bigger the Earth is than the Moon, at an OOM level. If it's radius, then the Earth is ~an OOM bigger than the Moon (~6400 km vs ~1700 km), and the Sun ~2 OOM bigger than the Earth (~700,000 km vs ~6400 km). An easy way to think of it is if you express the numbers as powers of 10 (so 6400 is 3.8, and 1700 is 3.2), an OOM difference is a difference of 1 (and the Earth and Moon differ by only ~0.6 OOM, in radius). Anyone want to do an OOM calculation of the size of the Milky Way, cf the Earth?

    This can be very helpful indeed when you're trying to figure out if some new, or alternative, idea is 'even in the right ballpark'; when described in mere words, it may be hard to tell if, say, there could be an undiscovered 'tenth planet' just like Jupiter, orbiting twice as far out as Neptune; when you do an OOM calculation you quickly realise there can't be (want to try for yourself?)

    The great thing about OOM calculations is they don't have to be exact! The other great thing is that you can nearly always find a way to do one or three that will take you no more than an hour or three (this is, itself, an OOM estimate)!!

    My 0.02

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Nereid@Aug 2 2005, 12:18 PM
    Anyone want to do an OOM calculation of the size of the Milky Way, cf the Earth?
    sure! I'll give it a try:

    radius of Earth = 6.4 x 10^3 km
    radius of MW = 50000 LY
    =4.7 x 10^17 km

    OOM difference of about 14, right, Nereid?

    and as to this little guy:
    My 0.02
    ...genius .

  12. #12
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    The way I was taught :
    radius of earth = 6.4 x 10^3 km ~ 10^4 km
    radius of milky way = 4.7 x 10^17 km ~ 10^17 (I trust you on the exact radius, Aeolus )

    Thus, OOM difference of about 13. B)

    I critisised you, Aeolus. Now gimme your shoes (your sig )! Hehe.

    (I hope this is not deleted. Any way, I could be teaching Cran a few things about etiquette... If my post is deleted, he will know what not to say :huh: . If it isn't, I guess he'll know this much satire is permitted... h34r: )

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by aeolus+--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (aeolus)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>radius of Earth = 6.4 x 10^3 km
    radius of MW = 50000 LY
    =4.7 x 10^17 km

    OOM difference of about 14, right, Nereid?[/b]
    <!--QuoteBegin-rahuldandekar
    radius of earth = 6.4 x 10^3 km ~ 10^4 km
    radius of milky way = 4.7 x 10^17 km ~ 10^17 (I trust you on the exact radius, Aeolus biggrin.gif)

    Thus, OOM difference of about 13.
    [/quote]
    OK, so 1 light year ~ 10^13 km
    If we assume the radius of the MW is 5 x 10^4 ly, then that&#39;s ~5 x 10^17 km (OK, aeolus&#39; has 4.7 instead of 5; that&#39;s the same, at an OOM level&#33.
    5/6.4 = 0.7; 17-3 = 14; log(0.7) = -0.15; 14-0.15 = 13.2 (OOM) ... this is the &#39;right&#39; answer.

    But if we&#39;re only interested in the integer OOM, 13 is good.

    Is 14 OK too? It all depends on what you&#39;re trying to do&#33;

    If your &#39;wild, over wine idea&#39; would work if the OOM difference were 5 or 6, but that 8 or more would knock it out completely, then the faster you can calculate 13 or 14 the better ... you know your wild idea is hopeless, don&#39;t waste any more time on it. If your wild idea would work with either 13 or 14, then again it doesn&#39;t matter ... you&#39;re in the right ballpark, and you can go and do some more detailed work, knowing that your idea isn&#39;t hopeless.

    The important thing is that OOMs are useful tools to help you do the important things, not ends in themselves. They are especially helpful in that you can often get a good &#39;steer&#39; very quickly.

    In short, both UT posters get gold stars&#33; B)

  14. #14
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    Gold Star&#33; And on my first try?&#33;?&#33; Woohoo&#33;

    And rahul, I totally deserved the criticism. It was an elementary mistake. I offer you my shoes.

  15. #15
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    an irrational number, huh? somehow, that figures...I guess I&#39;m in the right place after all...

    thank you all for your replies; I&#39;ll avoid LOL until there&#39;s some consensus, or unless I can make the context clear...

    and I better double check any numbers, I wouldn&#39;t want to be too many OOMs (or is that OsOM?) out either way&#33;

    thanks, planetwatcher; I thought the little guy bottom right was Kenny from South Park - eager to please, but self-destructive...

    Well, I&#39;ve got labs this morning...so I&#39;ll catch you later.

    thanks again.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by rahuldandekar@Aug 3 2005, 02:42 AM
    (I hope this is not deleted. Any way, I could be teaching Cran a few things about etiquette... If my post is deleted, he will know what not to say :huh: . If it isn&#39;t, I guess he&#39;ll know this much satire is permitted... h34r: )
    Why would your post be deleted Rahul?

  17. #17
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    Hehe, the critisism... just a joke, Matt.

  18. #18
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    OOMs (or is that OsOM?)
    Consider an attorney, or a surgeon; consider a country with a &#39;big boss&#39; attorney, or surgeon, they are called, are they not &#39;Attorney General&#39; and &#39;Surgeon General&#39;?

    Now suppose we have several countries with these exulted folk, and there is an international convention to which they are all invited.

    Is this a conference of Attorneys General and Surgeons General? Or one of Attorney Generals and Surgeon Generals? After all, do we not say &#39;how many attorneys are there in {name} law firm?&#39; or &#39;how many surgeons are there in {name} hospital?&#39;?

    OOM is to Surgeon General as {X} is to ...?

  19. #19
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    Surgeons General, Attorneys General, Sons-in-Law, Courts Martial, Brothers Grimm, Heirs Apparent, Men-of-War, and yes... OsOM

  20. #20
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    You say mothers superior, I say mother superiors (and attorney generals).

    One more example of folk in the US being more conservative than those from &#39;the mother country&#39; (at least wrt language)?

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Nereid@Aug 4 2005, 03:18 AM
    You say mothers superior, I say mother superiors (and attorney generals).

    One more example of folk in the US being more conservative than those from &#39;the mother country&#39; (at least wrt language)?
    Does this mean that you reside in the land of mother tongues? (or mother&#39;s tongue?) and you would say &#39;order of magnitudes&#39;?

  22. #22
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    Nereid, are you saying that attorneys general and mothers-in-law etc are the US way to say things or the proper queen&#39;s english way of saying things?

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Josh@Aug 3 2005, 11:11 PM
    Nereid, are you saying that attorneys general and mothers-in-law etc are the US way to say things or the proper queen&#39;s english way of saying things?
    Far be it from lil &#39;ol me, from a cold realm a dozen or three au (OOM) from the home planet, to comment on what &#39;the proper&#39; way of saying anything is&#33; <_<

    However, as in astronomy, so linguistics; the &#39;proper&#39; way to say (or write) anything is principally democratic - if &#39;mother superiors&#39; is what native speakers in the UK think (on the whole) is the better way to say it, then it&#39;s &#39;proper&#39;; if &#39;mothers superior&#39; ... US ... You can refine your analysis by taking subsets - BBC announcers vs White House speech writers, for example. The links I posted were a (feeble?) attempt to show what some folk - who presumably have gone out and done some quantitative observations - had to say on the matter.

  24. #24
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    heh, I wasn&#39;t saying you were claiming one to be more proper than the other .. but ... I was. The Queen&#39;s English is correct. That&#39;s not to say that people in England speak english any better than people in the USA. There are those, however, who try to maintain a level of correctness in their usage of the language, I believe. Even if most in the UK don&#39;t say "mother&#39;s superior", it is still the correct way to say it according to the english language (british, australian, new zealand, etc ...). Isn&#39;t it?

    I guess you could argue that US english is the benchmark seeing as most of the world has been forced to learn american english through TV and film. Such an argument is made here. good site.

  25. #25
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    It doesn&#39;t matter where you live, English grammar rules hold true anywhere. An attorney general is an attorney, a general type of attorney. general qualifies attorney, it&#39;s an adverb that modifies attorney. The proper form is Attorneys general. Dont matter to me, though.

  26. #26
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    Exactly. And english snobs shall we remain.

  27. #27
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    Yoda, even though, some of us speak like

  28. #28
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    AFAIK - as far as I know, yes?
    Just got that in a reply on another thread...my first entry in the glossary&#33;

    &#39;created a monster, I have&#39;

  29. #29
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    AFAIK - as far as I know, yes?
    Yes.

    Do you have IIRC (if i recall/remember correctly)? IOW (in other words - though why folk don&#39;t like i.e. is a different kettle of toast&#33; )

  30. #30
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    oh, you&#39;ll want "IMO", then, too.

    "In My Opinion", also IMHO (honest opinion).

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