Listed here are some of the net terminology that you may come across

Just as common as the confusing abbreviations used in emails and on the internet is the use of computer and internet jargon. For example "cross-post", "flaming" etc. For your convenience we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently used net terminology - please click one the mouse


To copy an article to multiple lists. Cross-posting should be done sparingly, and only when the post is relevant to the affected lists. Excessive cross-posting is a lot like spam, and is nicknamed "velveeta."


To make a post to a list for the first time.


A collection of mailing list articles, often created automatically and periodically by the mailing list software. It can be daily, weekly etc. Mailing list subscribers usually have the option to receive a mailing list in digest format, which means they get one big e-mail periodically instead of getting lots of separate e-mail messages.


The name for the period or full stop (.) that separates the pieces of an Internet address. For example, the Web address "" would be pronounced "W-W-W dot smith dot com."

emoticon (also called the smiley)

Little faces made out of keyboard characters, used to express smiles :-) or :>) winks ;-) surprise :-0 frowns :-( and more. (If you don't see the faces, put your left ear on your left shoulder and look again.)

  FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

A list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions and other useful information for a list. (When pronouncing, spell it out or rhyme "FAQ" with "back.") Always read a lists FAQ before you post.


An angry e-mail or post that viciously attacks someone or something. Usually written in the heat of the moment. Often starts a flamewar. A person who flames is a "flamer."

  flame bait

Provocative material in an article that, intentionally or unintentionally, will make people angry and invite flames in response.

flame war

An argument or fight that takes place on a list. Flamewars involve lots of name-calling, nasty insults, and "YELLING."

  follow up/reply

To respond to an article by posting a response to the list.


The FTP command for "getting," or downloading, files from a server to your computer. It is a command used on the Trisomy list to retrieve various files.


Part of an e-mail message that contains information needed by the computers that handled it. Hard-to-read but informative, header info includes the message ID, date, and time.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML allows a person to define what goes in a Web page, what the page does, and how it looks in a Web browser, as well as what the words say, how to draw the pictures or play the sounds, where the links go, and more.

  http (hypertext transfer protocol)

The very first part of a Web address that says, "I am a Web address," and tells the computers on the Internet to use the "hypertext transfer protocol" to send information to and from your computer. (A "protocol" is just a techy term for an agreed-upon way to swap information.)

hyperlink (also link)

Hyperlinks tie information on the Web together, making it easy to jump between connected Web pages. Text hyperlinks are usually underlined text and in a different colour. When you click on a hyperlink with your mouse, you will "go" to another Web page. For example, a Web page about Sports might have a hyperlink to more information about Basketball -- click on the hyperlink, and the Basketball page is brought to your computer screen. (In most Web browsers, when you move your mouse over a hyperlink, the mouse arrow will turn into a pointing finger, which means you can click that link.)

  interactive list

A type of mailing list where any subscriber can send messages that will be seen by all of the other subscribers of the list. Useful for clubs, discussions, debates, and other group conversations. (A list where only the list owners can send messages to the entire list is a distribution-only list.) The Trisomy List is an interactive list.


The world's largest computer network, made up of thousands of smaller networks and computers all connected together.

  list owner (also list administrator)

The person or persons in charge of a mailing list. The list owner is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the mailing list. Sometimes nicknamed the "List Mom."

list server

A computer program that "runs" a mailing list -- distributing the e-mail, processing subscription requests, archiving old messages, creating digests, and more. Two common list servers are LISTSERV and Majordomo. Subscribers send commands to the list server, not the actual list. The actual mailing list is where all the discussion takes place.


A generic term for a mailing list or list server, LISTSERV is actually the name of one particular mailing list program.


To read and follow postings on a list without posting any of your own. Always lurk a while before posting, to get a feel for the group. A person who lurks is a "lurker."

  mailing list

A discussion forum that use e-mail to send messages on a particular topic to a group of subscribers. Also referred to as a listserv or list.

moderated mailing list

A mailing list where all messages are sent to a moderator and must be approved before they are released to the entire list.


A beginner. All experts were newbies once, honest.


The act of writing to a list so that others can read and reply to it.


To include part of a previous post or e-mail message when you follow up to it. Quoting is a good idea because it lets people know what you're talking about. Quoted material often is preceded by ">" and looks like:

> This is an example of quoted material. You can use functions
>on your mailer to quickly quote in a mail to let people know
>what you are replying to. Only quote relative sections though
>as excessive quoting is not polite

This would be where your new comments would begin.


An e-mail that is posted to the list as a response to another post. It's usually a good idea to quote from the article you're replying to so people know what you're talking about. When replying, avoid posting simply "me too" or "I agree."

  search engine

A tool that lets you find information on the Internet. You type words describing what you're looking for, and the search engine scours the Internet for Web sites that match your description. Example of search engines are AOL NetFind, Yahoo, Excite. Anzwers etc


A computer that processes information or does tasks by handling requests from client computers. For example, a file server is a computer on which files are stored, so that users can transfer files to and from the server.

  signature (also sig)

Text added to the bottom of an article or e-mail to give the reader more information about the poster. Signatures can include e-mail and Web addresses, quotes, text art, and more, though signatures should not be longer than 4 or 5 lines.


An article that is sent to hundreds or thousands of different newsgroups, and has nothing to do with any of them. Often advertisements or "MAKE MONEY FAST"-type chain letters. Very annoying and a very bad violation of netiquette. The act of sending spam is "spamming." Someone who sends spam is a "spammer." The term "spam" comes from the Monty Python sketch where the name of the canned meat product is used so often that it crowds everything else out.


The act of signing up to receive messages from a mailing list, and the name of the command usually used to do this. A person who subscribes to a mailing list is a subscriber.

subscription options

The commands you can send to the list server to customize the way you receive the mailing list. For example, depending on the list server software, you may be able to choose between receiving or ignoring your own messages.


A thread is an ongoing discussion of related messages that grows from one particular posting.


A purposely stupid, inflammatory, or downright wrong article (closely related to flame bait). Its purpose is to get people mad and make them look stupid and gullible when they post a reply. Also, a person who indulges in trolling.  


To remove yourself from a list. If you unsubscribe, you will no longer get posts from the list. You can always subscribe again.

web address

The location of a page on the World Wide Web, which usually looks like "" Web addresses are officially known as URLs, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

  Web page (also page)

A document on the World Wide Web, created using HTML and seen with a Web browser. A Web page can contain text, pictures, sounds, software files, movies, and more. Each Web page has a unique Web address that describes how to get to it. A home page is a specific kind of Web page, usually the main page on a Web site.

web site

A collection of Web pages.

  World Wide Web (also WWW, Web)

The World Wide Web uses the Internet to create a network of information, made up of documents ("Web Pages") containing text, sounds, pictures, movies, and more, tied together with hyperlinks so that all this information is just a few clicks of the mouse away.

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