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Trynant's BuF Off-Topic Survival Guide

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Trynant, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    BuF can be a vicious place. Especially in the Off-Topic Forum. Lots of newbies coming in, lots of them are able to read and write...most of the time. So maybe they need some guidelines to follow so they don't sound like an idiot when they have something to say.

    So here's my spin on surviving in Forums, I'm hoping this will help some newbies (or even forum veterans). This guide is intended to cover general forum basics, Beyond Unreal oddities, and how to avoid looking like a jackass.

    Without further adieu, Trynant's Off-Topic Survival Guide rv.01.5

    Important Notice About This Guide: In the words of Douglas Adams, "DON'T PANIC." Don't feel the need to read through the whole guide. Check the table of contents, and if you want to know more about some obscure fact, maybe you will find it here. The table of content is coordinated with the chapters below, so you can use the find command in your web browser to go quickly to the section your looking for.

    Table of Contents:
    I. Arguing is OK
    II. Identity Issues: Signatures and Avatars
    III. Forum Slang
    IV. BuF Lingo
    V. Miscellaneous Bits of BuF Facts
    VI. (Internets) Grammar is Important
    VII. (BuF) Grammar is Important Two
    VIII. vBulletin Usage
    IX. Pictures AKA Pics
    X. Version History

    I. Arguing is OK

    The whole purpose of a forum is to make a subject and then discuss it. Nobody has exactly the same view in life, so arguing over a subject is natural. It is okay to argue, as long as the arguing is rational. That's what debating is.

    Just don't make angry, hurtful posts. All this does is make you look stupid and everyone else lose faith in humanity. Don't post stupid!
    --------------------------------------------------

    II. Identity Issues: Signatures and Avatars

    For newcomers to forums, you will see a lot posters who have pictures beside names and signatures--sometimes with pictures--under a poster's name. Pictures beside a poster's username is called an avatar, the words below a poster's post :)B) is called a signature. Go to the the FAQ about user maintenance to learn the basics of how to make your own signatures and avatars.

    Now for some tips about avatars and signatures.

    *Do not make signatures too big. This wastes bandwidth and takes up to much space in threads. The general rule of thumb is to have a signature shorter than five lines of text (normal format).

    *If you have a lot of text you want to write and it's more than five standard lines of text or you have a big picture, use the bracket command (learn more about brackets below) to make your text twice as small.

    *Custom avatars rock socks. Go to User CP at the top of the web page, go to settings and options, and edit avatar. You can find a picture online (there are plenty of websites that offer free internet avatars) or upload an image of your own.
    --------------------------------------------------

    III. Forum Slang

    Here is slang that has been born out of internet message boards. You will see these phrases pop up quite often.

    *Newbie, Newb, Nub, n00b, etc. Newbie is slang for newcomer; and is a nice way to say newbie. Newb is not so nice. Nub, n00b, and other variations are even meaner. A good rule of thumb for internet slang is that the more 1337 speak, the more hate behind the post.

    *Bump. Bumping is updating a thread, "bumping" it to the top of the page.

    *Flame. Basically flames are personal attacks. Don't do it.

    *Flame War. Lots of flames in a thread is called a flame war. These tend to kill a thread.

    *Spam. This one is pretty easy. The definition of spam for these forums is either posts lacking in content, or they reference weapons from Unreal that can hit their target without much aiming required from the player.
    --------------------------------------------------

    IV. BuF Lingo
    There are a bunch of phrases and inside jokes in BuF, not to mention on the internet in general. It makes it hard to make a smart post when people seem to be talking their own language.
    For the new and confused, here are some phrases that are often mentioned in BuF.

    *Truffles. Blame IBBangin for this :B Truffles are a tasty dessert that look like...you get the picture. Be wary when someone posts a picture of truffles in their post and invites you to have some.

    *Truffles and Cream. Truffles, the tasty dessert, are made even tastier by adding glaze, whip cream, or other stuff ontop of them. They also look like...well you get the picture. Be afraid when someone offers truffles online.

    *Hot Carl: This is not a BuF term, but you'll see the term appear very often...and if you don't know what a Hot Carl is then count your blessings. Originates from this thread (don't click link if you are feeling queasy or unwell).

    *PuF: BuF originally was part of Gamespy's Planet Unreal website. When Gamespy suddenly became a bunch of fascist pricks, however, the administrators and moderators created a new forum, followed by a website--Beyond Unreal. Kindly hosted by QAPete, please be respectful and courteous on these forums. And maybe now you know why Selerox boycotts the use of Gamespy's server browser.

    *:biggrin2:, this is an emoticon made by a forum veteran, Dopefish. To use it, put colons around the word "biggrin2" (no quotations and no spaces).

    *,,lol:mad:. This comes from a political thread debate where a poster made...well ,,lol:mad:. The little phrase has caught like wildfire around the forums and roughly means umm...who knows. Use ,,lol:mad: for irony.
    --------------------------------------------------

    V. Miscellaneous Bits of BuF Facts

    --Threads will fail, degenerate and ultimately be closed/archived/deleted if the topic has been discussed so that no other observations can be made. Continuation of a thread like this is known as "beating a dead horse."

    --Bumping a thread that is approximately more than 2 months old is often referred to as Necromancy. Beware: Necromancy causes zombie infestation. Zombies are messy, prone to accidents in hardware stores, and have poor writing ability. Please do not bring zombies into BuF :zombiesuit:

    --Flame wars kill threads.

    --Fancy words (i.e. words like "subtlety" and "esoteric") don't work well. A fair amount of people here learned English as their second language, or are under-aged and still have to learn all the nuances of the English language.

    --Despite what I just wrote, fancy words are awesome. Use them against flaming idiots :B And you also get a BuF Achievement!
    --------------------------------------------------

    VI. (Internets) Grammar is Important
    English is not user friendly. Even worse, the Internets has made its own devilish meld of the language and has slight but significant differences in format from normal writing. To combat the evil design of English grammar (and Internets grammar), here are some guidelines about posting without making (a lot of) errors.

    *There is a pronoun that can describe place (e.g. go there). Their indications possession (it's their stuff). They're is short for they are.

    *When making a new paragraph, add a space between the old one and the new. People hate dense posts :p

    *When using an ATNK (Acronym That Nobody Knows), explain the acronym! Not doing so will lead to confusion all around!

    *Emoticons are best used as if they were punctuations :) More on that later.

    *1337 speak is incorrect. Always. Only use it for irony's sake, or risk appearing like a dumbass.

    *Ellipses. Those are the "..." and the "....". Use the former (...) when you want to add a pause in a sentence, use the latter (....) to add a pause in between sentences and paragraphs. Do not overuse ellipses, however, or you will end up writing in "stream of consciousness" mode and look like you are blurting out every thought in your head (thanks Underscore).

    *Apostrophes. Use an apostrophe ( the ' symbol) to shorten words (e.g. don't instead of do not), to show possession (e.g. Trynant's guide), or when making stupid fantasy names :B DO NOT use an apostrophe after an acronym (such as the overused WTF) (thanks Airmoran).

    *Bold, Italics, Underlining, and Strike-throughs. These are used for emphasis of something. Strike-throughs are used more for irony and/or sarcasm, however (e.g. "This thread sucks is okay."). Don't underline things too much, because links to webpages are underlined and confuse other posters.

    *Quotations. Use these when referencing something that is not part of your actual post, or not written by you. If it's a big quote, use the [/quote] function (more on / commands later).

    *Idioms. Idioms are small phrases that means something beyond its literal translation. For example, the phrase "beating a dead horse" is an idiom.

    *e.g. vs. i.e.: e.g. (short for exempli gratia) means "for example," while i.e. (short for id est) means "that is to say." Kudos to B and Kou for knowing this stuff :)

    *(Parentheses). For grammar purposes, use parentheses when a phrase just doesn't belong in the sentence you are typing (BTW I suck at writing, can you tell?).

    *Hyphens. These are tricky. Put a single hyphen in-between two words to make them another word (e.g. crap-mongering P.O.S.). Put a double hyphen in a sentence when adding a new phrase into a sentence that is partially relavent--double hyphens can sometimes replace parenthesis.

    There are tons of other rules in the English language--and in BuF language--but there's no way I could list them all :p Thankfully there is more information about the Enlgish language on the internet, and even more information in books about English grammar.
    --------------------------------------------------

    VII. (BuF) Grammar is Important Two

    I went over some simple stuff, but writing what you really want to say (in an internet forum) is hard to do well. Here are some terms that can help a post go from dung to diamond in a matter of minutes (apologies for the alliterations :B)

    *Tone. If BuF was an Unreal Tournament game, tone would be where you aim your gun. Believe it or not, even though you are only reading posts, writing has a "voice" to it, or rather, tone. People will read your post and try to figure out what you are trying to sound helpful, mean, funny, stupid, or any other emotion you could care to name. Tone is like "reading between the lines." If you want your post to be understood the way you mean it to be, here's a hint: read your post out loud to yourself, and think about what it sounds like for another person.

    *Smileys and Emoticons. If BuF was an Unreal Tournament 200X game, emoticons would be the crazy dodge moves you could do. They help posters understand the tone (see what I just wrote) of your writing. Hint: Treat a smiley like a punctuation mark; placing a smile right before a period or comma looks silly :), and placing one after it means that the smiley is a sentence by itself (which is weird). :/

    Go to http://forums.beyondunreal.com/misc.php?do=showsmilies to find BuF's own smiley list.

    *Irony, Sarcasm and Facetiousness. Irony is saying one thing when actually implying the contrary. Sarcasm is a form of irony that is used in an scathing, acidic tone. Facetiousness is irony used in a humorous manner. Irony is rather hard to read sometimes, so I'll leave it to Beeb to explain the underlying mechanics of this linguistic device.


    VIII. vBulletin Tips, AKA Brackets!!!

    BuF uses vBulletin, a very useful message-board program. There are a lot of tricks in vBulletin that can be used to make posts as crazy as you want them to be. Here is some advice and about some vBulletin tricks, along with several example things you can do.

    *[]Brackets[]. Anything that is not simple text and is not an emoticon is some form of [insert thing here]insert words here[/insert thing here]. Bold fonts, changing sizes, hotlinking webpages, posting images, hotlinking images, etc. all use those bracks. For example, to make a word colored red, type [COLOR=red]colored red[/COLOR]. Note that the words inside brackets do not have to be case-sensitive.

    *[SIZE=X]text[/SIZE]: Increases or decreases the size of your words, X is whatever the size you want to be. The default size used in BuF is close to 2.

    *[URL="http://www.beyondunreal.com"]BeyondUnreal[/URL]: This is makes a hotlink to website. WARNING: YOU HAVE TO PUT QUOTATION MARKS AROUND THE WEBSITE YOU ARE LINKING.

    *[COLOR=randomcolor]Colored Text[/COLOR]: Change the color of your font! There are a lot of colors to use, common ones can be red, blue, yellow; but there are less-known colors like cyan and magenta also.

    *[IMG]http://www.beyondunreal.com/images/stretch_logo.jpg[/IMG]: Include an image inline in your post.

    *[M]www.youtube.com/whatevermoviefromyoutube[/M]: Put your link inbetween the M's and a video will be embedded in your post. M is for movie.

    There are a bunch of other commands out there, try typing one, preview your post, and see what happens :)
    --------------------------------------------------

    IX. Pictures AKA Pics.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and a pic is worth a thousand smilies. A word to the wise--reference where you have obtained a pic. If the pic was made personally by yourself, this is obviously unnecessary. Still, copyright infringement is BAD.

    The way pics should be treated are mostly covered in the FAQs, but from personal experience I find that pics should be considered as paragraphs. Give them their own space to leave a message. Pictures dominate a post, so be careful with them.

    Also, Underscore has good advice about pictures.
    --------------------------------------------------

    That's all for now, more to come. Please post any suggestions or (constructive) criticisms you may have. If you have your own survival guide lines, I would love to hear them.

    X. Version History:
    ninja rv2: added M tags.
    ninja rv.: proofread a little bit of the thread.
    rv.01.5: Irony.
    rv.01.4: Corrected the idiom entry. Kudos goes to B for knowing more than I do :)
    rv.01.3: Got rid of floccinaucinihiliperlification and antidisestablishmentarianism and put back the "fancy" words subtlety and esoteric, for the sake of BuF Achievements :D
    rv.01.2: Clarified what I mean by "grammar" in the (Internets) Grammar is Important section, also corrected information about id est and exempli gratia. Kudos go to Melobee and Izanagi. Also added "there, their, and they're" for the heck of it.
    rv.01.1: Haarg was kind enough to clean up my brackets section, arguably the most useful part of this guide.
    rv.01: The forum crash wiped the previous thread, thankfully I had a backup available on my computer. rv stands for "Ressurection Version." Thanks to all the people who helped provide suggestions and improvements to this guide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. Latent Image

    Latent Image Bring the rain!

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    Spoil sport...
     
  3. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    ?????

    Eh?
    I figure the world could do better with slightly less trolling, flaming, unintentional idiocy when there's potential for some really funny, witty, and silly posting out there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  4. Latent Image

    Latent Image Bring the rain!

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    Its ok, just joking, I agree, Good Work!
     
  5. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    I cleaned up your BBCode section and removed the image hotlinking example because it didn't work. Wouldn't you use [url="blah"]text[/url] to link an image, just like any other page?
     
  6. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    I like the use.

    Thanks for the cleanup. Although it's [IMG]url[/IMG] not [IMAGE][/IMAGE] :)

    Odd though, I thought the img="blah" worked. O well. Can't get them all right, especially when you're a noob like me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  7. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    Changed the [​IMG]
     
  8. _Zd_Phoenix_

    _Zd_Phoenix_ Queen of BuFdom

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    Well done, but ...

    Subtlety is a fancy word? /shoots self :p
    Why an English lesson? Seems crazy, especially when you're going into such esoteric (hurr) territory such as:
    A lot of natural English speakers (which is a probably a polite substitute for 'a vast majority of English speakers') don't know what idioms are - plus your definition there is incorrect.

    An idiom is particular phrase or sentence which means something beyond the literal meaning or the limitations of its constituent words. The only thing I've been able to think of as an example is when you say that someone is 'blowing their own trumpet', (no innuendo there then) meaning that they're being boastful about themselves in some way. The meaning of the words of the sentence as read do not reflect the meaning of the phrase: no one is actually blowing a trumpet.

    An alternate definition is where it's a certain style of something.
    'Also known as' is abbreviated to 'a.k.a.', and has no meaning connected to 'i.e.'

    i.e. comes from the latin 'id est' which means 'that is', and in English is used in place of 'that is to say'. So whereas e.g. demonstrates something by example, i.e. is more expansive, making something clear or adding to what has been said, rather than applying it :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  9. _Zd_3s_

    _Zd_3s_ Regristered User

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    Sult.. slut.. ss..butt..? Eh? :con: What are these things you say? :mad:
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  10. _Zd_Phoenix_

    _Zd_Phoenix_ Queen of BuFdom

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    hey o/ :D

    Funny how something from me would get translated into 'slut' and 'butt', dreis :D:p
     
  11. Kou

    Kou Augmentations > You

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    What is "e.g." derived from?

    Never mind, I'll look it up. Maybe it's pointless, but I like knowing derivations of those things :(

    EDIT: "exempli gratia" -- "For the sake of example"
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  12. _Zd_Phoenix_

    _Zd_Phoenix_ Queen of BuFdom

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    Yea, I quite like knowing too - cheers for posting that, I've never looked that one up :tup:
     
  13. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    "I.E., E.G., **** You" - Get Shorty

    Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I got rid of subtlety and esoteric as examples of complex words and added much more esoteric words (at least floccinaucinihiliperlification is esoteric). Also clarified/corrected the terms i.e. and e.g. Also added "there, their, and they're" in the (Internets) Grammar is Important section just because it's a common mistake.

    As far as why add a grammar section, it's mainly to give information on posting in terms of internet message boards (which have some differences from normal writing from what I've seen). Also, writing with perfect grammar garners you pimp points to buy out the classy BuF hos who dig perfect syntax :p
     
  14. Kou

    Kou Augmentations > You

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  15. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    Honorificabilitudinitatibus

    Are you suggesting I should bring back the "subtlety" and "esoteric" into the guide for achievement's sake? :D
     
  16. Kou

    Kou Augmentations > You

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    :D Yes :D
     
  17. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    smiley smiley smiley

    Done, also a link to the BuF Achievement. :B

    EDIT: Crap, I just realized I still have to revise that whole "idiom" part. I'll get to that soon! Done!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  18. iSenSe

    iSenSe Only InstaGib`

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    ahh good thing u made this mate.
    some ppl dont understand guidelines. and have a whole other view on this
     
  19. Trynant

    Trynant Manic Brawler

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    :D

    I'm thinking about adding more content to this guide (i.e. more internet slang and BuF terms), does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might want to add to this?
     
  20. OG Beeb

    OG Beeb Banned

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    Yeah add this:

    Irony is stupid. Doing things ironically is stupid.

    HOPE THIS HELPS
     

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