These aren’t hard and fast rules, but some good advice to get you off on the right foot:
1. Before posting for the first time, read the group--at least the most current threads. This will give you a sense of what we are all about.
2. Before asking a question, take a look at the Big List. There is a good chance your question will be answered there.
3. When starting a new topic, avoid using subjects like Etymology or Word Origin. Instead, use the word or phrase you want to discuss.
4. Don’t ask for a response to be sent by email. Most participants in this (and other) forums won’t send them. If you care enough to ask the question, you should check back in a day or two for the response.
5. Remember that this is a written forum. Your comments are not accompanied by intonation, facial expressions, or body language. So people may misinterpret what you mean. Also, if you feel that someone has insulted you, calm down and reread the offending post. Chances are the person intended no disrespect.
6. Consider putting information on where you come from in your personal profile. It helps others understand you when you say things like “I’ve never heard that phrase around here.”
7. If you want to delete a post you have just made, just ask me (Dave Wilton, , your forum administrator) to make the change. I’ll be happy to oblige. But beware, it may take me 24 hours (or even longer) to get around to it. I generally won’t delete posts that have received substantive responses.
8. Etymology is based on facts, not opinion or consensus. It doesn’t matter how many people believe it, if it’s wrong it’s wrong. Speculation is fine, just be sure that you clearly label it as such. And if you know of a “cute” word origin story, feel free to share it, but don’t claim that it is true unless you have the evidence at hand to prove it.