Frequently in a mail group you will come across various cants like <OT> or <TID>

These are punny message tags based on html code. The specific meaning of

<OT>:    (totally) off topic
<TID>:  Thread is Digressing

Their intention is to warn the reader that the subject material is not relevant to the main theme of the mail group.

As a courtesy to the other subscribers of 'the list' you warn them with this tag so that their email readers can filter off these messages to /dev/null. Don't be offended that some people don't want to read your off topic conversations, no matter how funny, witty or informative it might be. Many will be rightly offended by junk mail when they really do need to read just the 'important' threads. You are *strongly* advised to use these tags as part of your flame-proof armour.

A good mail group has a personality. Yours. Use these to add 'flavour' to the group without destroying the original intent of the mailing list.

Other conversational tags frequently encountered in messages are:

AIUI - As I Understand It
AFAIK - As Far As I Know
BTW - By The Way
OTOH - On The Other Hand
DPAW - Danger Penguin(s) At Work
WFZ - Windows Free Zone
PLONK - Placed On Kill (mail filter list) (usually the final word in a

GNU - a wild bovine creature which inhabits the African grasslands.  Looks as if it were made up of spare parts and thus inspired a series
of Operating Systems... see Wildebeest.
CORE DUMP - See Netscape Port to Linux

Their use is optional and can be esoteric, be sure the intended recipient(s) can understand your meaning. Elsewise you can *easily* be flamed because your message and intent is not clear.

For a more comprehensive listing of acronyms at your disposal, see the FULL LIST!

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