Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 77

The RTFM Flame

Read the f***ing manual. Do it. Don't post stupid questions before consulting the FAQ or manual. Of course, in some cases there is no manual (in which case there's no excuse for an RTFM Flame). In others, the manual might not answer your question.

If you go blundering around the net posting the first question that comes to mind in forum after forum, expect RTFM flameage. To the extent that this kind of flame encourages people to solve their own problems, it has salutary effects. A good way to handle those who persist in refusing to RTFM is to politely refer them to the correct manual or FAQ. An exact page or paragraph reference adds an amusing tone of condescension.

The My-Computer-Is-Better-Than-Yours Flame

Judging from billions of "my computer is better than yours" messages, many people really love their computers. This a sure-fire flame war starter. Go ahead: log into Macintosh forum and start posting about how much greater your PC is than any Mac. Before the flame war has run its course, someone's bound to chime in about all the wonderful features of the Amiga that Mac and PC users miss.

"Advocacy" discussions that compare the features of different computers or operating systems can be informative. They also get old quite quickly. If you feel the need to discuss the relative merits of different technologies, consider posting to one of the many "advocacy" newsgroups featured in USENET's "comp" hierarchy (i.e., comp.sys.mac.advocacy, comp.sys.next.advocacy etc.).

The Get-a-Life Flame

Some people hang out in cyberspace to the exclusion of real life activities. It's not good Netiquette to tell them to "get a life." People who tell others to get a life probably don't have one themselves. If you're on the receiving end of this kind of flame, grin and bear it. A reply with evidence that you do have a life is unlikely to be effective.


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