Hello darlings. I have had a sudden urge to make this guide, probably fuelled by no sleep and such but hey. Tell me what you think and if it's any good, we can direct new members here instead of repeating ourselves all the time.
It seems that sometimes people come to this forum with an unusual grasp of how to type, therefore allow me to show you the correct way so that your posts seem all the more coherent and interesting.Lesson 1:
What should a post contain?
A post should consist of several elements. First, it should attempt to convey a message which will further the conversation at hand by adding elements or steering the topic elsewhere.
Second, it should use the correct capitalisation, punctuation and spelling in order to optimise ease of reading. Paragraphs are also a nice way to break up a wall of text and make it more readable.
Third, it should be of a reasonable length - the more information the better. We think three sentences a good minimum to stick with.
Also, please try not to abuse the smileys. They are very fun to play with but one here and there is much better than ten in a row.Lesson 2:
What should a post look like?
A good post should look something like this:
- I agree that dreams can be serious or complete nonsense. I have had some strange dreams which were almost déja-vu but yesterday I had the silliest dream. I dreamt I was on a wooden raft, floating across the sea. Then my cousin jumped aboard and started swordfighting sharks for some reason. Yeah, it was weird but obviously would never come true.
Ooh, but have you ever read that book "Encyclopedia of Dreams" or something like that? -
It addresses the topic, answers a question that has been asked and gives detail. It also moves the topic on - not obligatory but it does help the topic stay fresh. It also has correct punctuation, spelling and grammar, within reason.
It shouldn't look like any of these:
- I also think dreams can be serious or nonsense. - Too short
- i think dreams r totally random i had a cool one yesterday - Too short, no capitalisation or punctuation
- I THINK DREAMS MEAN NOTHING AND SHOULD BE FORGOTTEN. - Too short, all caps.Lesson 3:
You may not realise but capitalisation is important for a post to look good. Capitals should be used:
- At the start of each sentence
- Everytime you say 'I' referring to yourself
- When typing names apart from some screen names which were left uncapitalised
- When typing a country name, a day, a month (exceptions exist - see Wikipedia
for more info)
Notice the difference between 'hi my name is emily also known as hydra and i love sundays' and 'Hi, my name is Emily, also known as hydra, and I love Sundays!'? Yeah, it looks better, doesn't it?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, please don't just post in capitals. Full words in capitals are IMPORTANT to emphasise a word (see what I did there?) or if you want to emulate shouting online, for example 'WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?'. Apart from that, it just makes the post harder to read.
Note the difference between 'HI, MY NAME IS EMILY AND I LOVE SUNDAYS!' and 'Hi, my name is Emily and I love Sundays!'.
Also, you see the Caps Lock key on your keyboard? Please don't use it. Use that cool arrow key below it instead called the Shift key. It allows you to create a capital letter only while it is pressed down, and not at any other time. And no, you don't have to pounce on the Shift key at the same time you press your letter key. You can hold it down beforehand and let go afterwards.Lesson 4:
Yes, spelling is important as well, although ultimately it's not the end of the world if you make one or two mistakes. You will find a 'Spell Check' button next to the 'Post' button though if you aren't sure of what you typed. That can help catch some mistakes.
Please don't intentionally misspell though and use chatspeak, leetspeak or things like that. Just don't.Lesson 5:
What is punctuation? It is a series of symbols used to communicate where sentences pause or stop completely, what emotion is behind the statement, whether the sentence is a quote or just an original statement, whether it is a question or a statement, as well as having a few other uses.
The main punctuation marks involved in posts are the full stop or period (.), the comma (,), the question mark (?), the exclamation mark (!), quotation marks (" " or ' ') and ellipses (...).
- The full stop or period is used to mark the end of a sentence.
- The comma is used to denote a pause, to separate elements of a list, after certain adverbs (again, more info on Wikipedia
- The question mark is used to indicate that the sentence is a question as opposed to a statement. Note the difference between 'The grass was red?' and 'The grass was red.'. In the first sentence the author was asking the colour of the grass. In the second sentence the author was telling everyone what colour the grass was.
- The exclamation mark can be used to indicate emotion such as surprise, excitement, agitation, etc. Note the difference between 'The grass was red.', which sounds as if it was normal, and 'The grass was red!' which shows it was surprising.
- Quotation marks are used when showing something you are saying came from a different person. 'Helen asked me, "What are you doing?" ' shows that Helen is the person who said "What are you doing?"
- Ellipses are fun things to use but shouldn't be overused either. They are used to denote an omission, or if used at the end of the sentence to denote the sentence trailing off. Sometimes they can be used to indicate a pause that would have appeared if spoken but don't overdo it. An example of that is 'I wish ... I wish I knew how to fly.'
Also punctuation is the apostrophe ('). An apostrophe is used:
- As part of a contraction ("do not" becomes "don't")
- To denote possession using an apostrophe followed by "s" ('s). If Sally has a cat, it is Sally's cat.
If the word already ends with "s" however, only use an apostrophe. If James has a cat, it is James' cat.
- When using "it", "it's" is the contraction "it is" whereas "its" denotes possession. "This is my teddy. Where is its hat? It's in the box."
Again, I am simplifying. More info is on Wikipedia