You will not be surprised about English being the main language on the Usenet; however, there are special trees for German (de.*), French (fr.*) and many other languages. If you are unable to determine the main language of a newsgroup the only possibility is careful listening or a possible explanation in the description of the group in the grouplist.
In addition, over the time the Usenet has developed its own language but it is easy to learn.
When you read news, after some time you will read some strange combinations of letters; for example, you can get a reply like:
Nothing else. Strange, but absolutely intended; to solve the riddle: those, most of the time, are shortcuts, acronyms. It is easier to drop some letters than to write the same sentence over and over again.
But what is the meaning of RTFM? The writer is asking you to read the manual, documentation or FAQ before asking questions in the newsgroup. It stands for: (R)ead (T)he (F)...ing (M)anual; BTW this is advice you should adopt.
Wait, what is BTW now? Another often-seen acronym which means (B)y (T)he (W)ay. It is easy when you know it; to avoid you having to continuously speculate over the meaning of acronyms there is table at he end of this section containing the most-often-used acronyms.
This table does not try to be complete and is based on a list by Martin Imlau.
Table 5.1. Acronyms on Usenet
|AAMOF||As a matter of fact|
|AFAIK||As far as I know|
|AFAIR||As far as I remember|
|AWGTHTGTTA||Are we going to have to go through this again?|
|ASAP||As soon as possible|
|BFN||Bye for now!|
|BTW||By the way|
|BYKT||But you knew that|
|CMIIW||Correct me if I'm wrong|
|CU2||See you too!|
|CYL||See you later!|
|DAU||German abbreviation for the silliest user you can imagine (Dümmster anzunehmender User)|
|EOD||End of discussion|
|ESOSL||Endless snorts of stupid laughter|
|FYI||For your information|
|GOK||God only knows|
|HAND||Have a nice day!|
|HTH||Hope that helps|
|HSIK||How should I know?|
|IAE||In any event|
|IANAL||I am not a lawyer|
|IIRC||If I remember correctly|
|IMCO||In my considered opinion|
|IMHO||In my humble opinion|
|IMNSHO||In my not so humble opinion|
|INPO||In no particular order|
|IOW||In other words|
|LMAO||Laughing my ass off|
|LOL||Laughing out loudly|
|NBD||No big deal|
|NFW||No f...ing way|
|ROTFL||Rolling on the floor, laughing|
|RTFM||Read the f...ing manual|
|SCNR||Sorry, could not resist|
|TIA||Thanks in advance|
Again, such a strange thing. What is this ;-) meant to be? Turn your head so the left side of your screen is on top; got it? It's a smile with a wink? This is a so-called emoticon; emoticons are an often-used possibility to express emotions, one thing missing in conversation on the Usenet (but there is a substitute, remember? ;-)
It is very difficult to express emotions in email or news; your joking comment appear to be very serious to the recipient and can lead to unmeant reactions or conflicts (flames); so use emoticons to express your intention.
There are a lots of emoticons, which express a great variety of emotions; the interpretation is easy if you turn your head and think of a face.
This PLONK! looks like some comic-sound, does it not? And that is exactly what it is used for. The one who reads it knows he was just added to the killfile of a newsreader; normally this means the recipient of the PLONK! annoyed the sender. The PLONK! is meant to play back the sound of the recipients name hitting the ground in the killfile.