Like many parts of the Internet, Usenet has its own vocabulary or jargon. Users who are new to Usenet often have difficulty understanding the slang of the technology at first. New Usenet slang and jargon continue to pop up regularly. Reading and understanding the following terms will help “newbies” and “old hats” to understand the ins and outs of these Internet conversation groups:
Attn: Short for “attention.”
Client: The software used to connect to the Usenet server and browse articles.
Completion: The percentage of available articles versus information that should be accessible but is not.
Crosspost: A method of posting which sends the same post to multiple newsgroups included in the post header.
Filter: Used in newsreaders to sort out undesired material. For example, users can enable a filter which will not display posts from a given email address.
Header: Information given at the top of a post, including email address, group name, time of post, etc.
Incomplete: A set of articles which does not have necessary data to complete it.
Killfile: A news client feature that allows a user to block or filter out posts by certain Usenet users.
Newbie: Slang referring to a person who is new to a Usenet field or topic.
Newsgroups: Online discussion forums/threads arranged in hierarchical order which can be accessed through a news client.
NNTP: (Network News Transfer Protocol) is the standard Usenet Internet protocol.
Nym: An alias or nickname for a user.
Nymshifting: The act of changing one’s alias to throw off other Usenet users regarding one’s identity. This is usually employed to avoid a kill file from another user.
Off Topic: Material which does not match the intended focus of the newsgroup.
PLONK: Slang which refers to the act of adding an individual to a user’s kill file.
Post/Article: Any message posted or submitted by a user to Usenet.
Provider: The business which provides access to Usenet.
REQ: Short for “request/requesting”.
Retention: The duration of time for which a post is retained in a given group before removal in lieu of more recent posts.
Spam: Advertising a service/product through an article.
Sporge: Nonsense text-based posts made in order to make the newsgroup illegible.
Thread: A consecutive string of posts made to a specific group, list, or forum.
Troll: An aggressive individual who writes inflammatory posts to elicit responses based on rage.
Usenet: The global network of servers which host, exchange and allow access to newsgroups
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