Must Know Internet Forum Terminology - A dictionary of common terms: Part 1
Avatar: A graphic representation of the user. It is seen by others in the forums when you post a topic or comment. It should be unique so that you can be easily identified by your avatar. It makes sorting through comments a bit easier.
Bump: When a topic or comment is posted and a desired response isn't given, a person will often "bump" the topic back to the top of the forum thread list by simply adding a comment to the end of the thread. This reminds other users that the topic is still open for discussion. Depending on who is doing it, it can be helpful or very annoying. Use carefully.
CAPTCHA: A graphic that displays distorted letters and numbers as part of a submission form. The person submitting the form must correctly type the letters and numbers seen in the graphic in order to successfully complete the form. This is done to prevent automatic programs ('bots') from getting access to forums. See "forum spam" below.
Conversation Threading: Threaded conversations use a hierarchy to organize messages. Each post or reply on a topic adds a layer to the hierarchy. For an example of threaded conversations, see the comments on news at slashdot.org.
Chat Room: A chat room is an area where users can talk to each other in real time.
Double Posting This happens when a user clicks twice on the 'submit' button when posting a new topic or a reply to a topic. This is often handled by editing the second post, removing the redundant content and posting "double post, sorry!" instead of the full contents.
Emoticon Emoticons are text representations of emotions, since emotions and motives are often misunderstood. Examples:
:-) or :) or :D - Smile
;) ;-) - Wink
:o - Surprised
>:-) - Evil (playfully used)
There are many, many more emoticons, but considering all of them is beyond the scope of this article.
Flaming: Berating, putting down or yelling at another user.
Flame Wars: When users flame each other endlessly until somebody gives up or the thread is closed by a moderator.
Flamebait: Posting a topic that is intended to irritate other users. These often result in flame wars.
Forum Spam: Posting advertisements in forums in any way. This can include a legitimate user posting content that is designed to promote his or her business without buying advertising from the forum owners.