Etiquette on E-mail is called "netiquette." Here are a few suggested rules from the Student Lists "Welcome Message to Students" message by Lonnie Turbee at

A. All the people on the lists are students like you. They are probably new to this as well. So please don't be afraid to post messages. It will be a great learning experience.

B. Be positive. If somebody says something you like, tell him or her, either by commenting to the whole group, or by sending him or her an individual reply. If you disagree with the person, try to do so in a constructive rather than negative way.

C. Be polite. On a list like this, with people from many cultures, it can be easy to have misunderstandings. Try to be polite and friendly in your postings.

D.Humor is appreciated, but again, please be polite. Avoid comments which could offend or confuse people of other cultures.

E.Remember: if it's of individual or personal interest, send a reply to the person who posted the message (just use the reply option on your system). If you think it might be of general interest, post a message to the whole group.

F.Let people know what you're going to be talking about. Make sure your posting has a clear and descriptive entry on the "Subject" line.

G.Keep it short. Some students have to pay to get their e-mail! So keep your messages brief--no more than 2 screens. The LISTSERV will not accept messages that are longer than 50 lines or so.

H.Don't post too often! There is a limit of two postings per day per student with a maximum of five postings in a week.

I.Identify yourself. List your name, school, and e-mail address briefly at the end of your posting. Some e-mail systems do not include the "header" so other people may not see it.

J.If you are referring to another person's comments, it is usually a good idea to quote that person. On some systems the "forward" feature will help you do this. However, please EDIT out that person's header and any other information which is not relevant, to avoid clutter and wasted space. Under no circumstances should the quoted material be longer than your own comments!

K.Try to make the right comments to the right list. If you want to discuss movies, you should join and post to MOVIE-SL. If you want to discuss music, join and post to MUSIC-SL. If you want to discuss general topics, join and post to CHAT-SL or DISCUSS-SL. BUT -- do not 'cross post.' Send your message to ONLY ONE list!

L.Keep in mind that people all over the world will be reading your comments. If your comments will only be clear for people from your own country, provide more background information.

M.The SL Lists are "unmoderated". This means that what members post goes directly to the membership, unedited and uncensored. We are strongly committed to maintaining an uncensored list. In particular, please refrain from using obscene language.


N.On e-mail, you cannot see people's faces. So people often use symbols to make their points. *'s or capital letters can give emphasis. For example, "That was a *great* movie". Or "That was a GREAT movie." (Or "That was a g-r-e-a-t movie.")

Then there are the famous "sideways" symbols:

:-) (a smile)

;-) (a wink)

:-( (a frown)

There are also a lot of common e-mail abbreviations. Two of the most popular are:

BTW (By the way)

IMHO (In my humble opinion)


All in all, follow the basic guideline: Do not post to others what you would not want posted to you! Updated 8 March 1997 by Deborah Healey,