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Guidelines Quick Byte

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#1 Jeannie McClelland

Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:29 AM

Hi Fellow Forum Members,

Time for another thrilling episode of ISN Quick Bytes. These short posts are intended to clarify important points and serve as a helpful reminder. They may also help you to understand why certain things have been edited or even deleted in their entirety.

This first series deals with the Forum Guidelines (which, of course, you read and set to memory when you joined the Forums). The guidelines are always only a click away at the left of the purple toolbar at the top of every Forum page.

In the introduction, we are reminded that: This forum is a free service of the International Scleroderma Network (ISN) at www.sclero.org. The ISN is a nonprofit international patient and medical organization that delivers top notch research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. All of these guidelines support the ISN's international and nonprofit mission.

Neutral Zone Our mission requires language that is appropriate for all ages, cultures, beliefs, and countries. We avoid cursing, swearing, "instant messaging" abbreviations, and slang (since it can be misconstrued or offensive in other languages and cultures). We convey our faith-based thoughts without directly or indirectly mentioning any specific deity, religion, dogma, scripture, religious occasion, or denomination (including satanic, cult, pagan, neopagan, atheistic, psychic, horoscope/astrology) by using generic terms instead, such as blessings, celebration, choir, clergy, clergyman, devotion, divine, faith, holiday, holy, meditation, religion, religious, religious leader, rituals, sacred, spirit, spiritual, spiritual leader, spiritual path, worship, and worship services. (Read more.)

Sorry, Forum Friends, if you were expecting something funny, you aren't going to find much in this Quick Byte.

Wars have been fought in defence of belief systems and ideology and continue to be to this very day. The forums will always be a place where we can comfortably discuss how chronic illness effects our lives.

On the subject of cursing, swearing, all sorts of abbreviations, and slang - well, slang can get pretty funny. How many of you would know what I meant if I said I was "right chuffed with my new G.P., ayup"? Hand's down, all you folks from Great Britain, you'll have heard my particular dialect and have an unfair advantage. For everyone else, what I said was "I am very happy with my new doctor, yes, I am."

Cursing and swearing are out too. For many of us, it is so much a part of our language, we don't even realize it until the bad words filter substitutes ****** or ##### in the text box. Some of the more seemingly benign swear words are actually substitutes for religious epithets, and so hit two neutral zone points in one blow. Some words may be swear words in one context but perfectly usable in another. When in doubt, we leave it out. There are many better ways to make a point. (We have a nice selection of emoticons (clickable smilies) which are quite expressive. B) )

Also, there is zero tolerance for cursing or swearing at anyone with any words.

Instant messaging abbreviations. I hear you asking "what's wrong with abbreviations?" Ever tried to read either a legal document or one in another foreign language that's riddled with abbreviations? The same unfortunately goes for text message abbreviations. A curious member could spend hours wondering why her rheumatologist didn't order a CSL (can't stop laughing) and AYK (as you know) test.

NB*: We are working on a glossary of medical abbreviations which should be available very soon.

*NB (an abbreviation for noto bene, meaning "note well"), not NB (not bad) nor NB (niu bi, a Chinese expression similar to "you the man")

Here’s that link again for those of you who just can’t wait for the next Guidelines Quick Byte to arrive: Forum Guidelines (link found in the purple toolbar on every Forum page).

Best wishes and happy posting,
Jeannie McClelland
(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services
(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager
(Retired) ISN Blog Manager
(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide
(Retired) ISN Artist
International Scleroderma Network