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Etiquette on irc - or - How to Avoid Getting Yourself Kicked out of Channels

Original Authors
Lea Viljanen (LadyBug)
Ari Husa (luru)
Modified By
Troy Rollo (Troy)
Further Modified By
James Sneeringer (CrowMan)

1) Language

The most widely spoken and understood language on irc is English. This does not mean it is the only language on irc! Far from it, in fact. In general, it is ok to speak any language. The usual protocol is to use a language that is understood by the majority of the channel you're in.

Some channels prefer that only a single language, or select group of them, be used in their channel. This is particularly true of channels dedicated to particular countries. They may tolerate other languages, but their preference naturally lies with their native tongue. These channels may even have a topic set that says what the channel's preferred language is.

2) Hello and Goodbye

It is not necessary to greet each and every person that joins a channel you're on. On a busy channel, this would quickly become annoying, as everyones' screens become filled up with “hello” messages, and nothing else. If you feel inclined to greet someone that you don't know, send a private message with the /msg command.

Having established that a screenful of greetings is A Bad Thing, it follows that automated greetings are worse. A drawback of the client's ability to react to any arbitrary event with an arbitrary action is that it is often misused. While you may only be trying to be polite to everyone, you are in fact being just the opposite. Automated greetings are impersonal at best.

3) Channel Discussion

As a general rule, there is no general rule about what sort of discussion may be taking place on a channel at any given time. Usually, the topic of discussion will be related in some way to the channel's name. People on #perl probably answer questions about the Perl programming language and discuss new features. However, this is not always the case!

The best strategy is to watch the discussion for a bit to get an idea of what the channel is really all about. Unless you know otherwise (such as from the channel topic), you should always feel free to contribute to the conversation, though you should take care not to try to force the discussion in a direction that it isn't flowing toward.

4) } { | ` ~ ] [ \ @ ^

No, it isn't line noise, and no, someone didn't make a typing error. On irc, there is a large population of users from Scandinavian countries, and the above characters represent letters in their alphabet. Since not everyone has access to a terminal that can use or display the real letters, these characters are instead substituted.

 {     is an A with 2 dots over it (ä)
 }     is an A with a small circle above it (å)
 |     is either an O with 2 dots over it or an O with a dash (/)
       through it (either ö or ø)
 `     is an e with an accent over it (é)
 ~     is an u with 2 dots over it (ü)
 [, ], \, @ and ^ are the preceding five letters in upper case.

Of course, the irony here is that the French and German mappings are not the same. Oh well…


If you remember nothing else from this document, remember this. People on irc form their opinions about you based solely on your actions, writings, and comments on irc. Think before you type.

etiquette.txt · Last modified: 2006/07/11 04:57 (external edit)