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Old 2011-03-25, 04:45 AM   #1
unisteve
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Post Please help me with me essay. uh, hear me out, okay?

Hello fellow unicyclists. My name is Steve (orly?). I joined this site when I was 12. I was kind of a huge noob then, and am only now less so in the field of unicycling. I have been a lot more of a lurker than a poster, admittedly, but I have kept an eye on these forums.

The reason for the subject of my thread is that I am in a class called Language Planning and Language Policy in some awesome college in Toronto. In order that I complete my next and final essay, I am requesting if you would, basically, just say whether you have changed your speech patterns and word use and stuff as a result of your joining the unicyclist.com forums? Whether just on the forums or wherever. Whatever your native language is. (I will assume it's English unless otherwise specified.)

Basically, "language policy and planning" is about "language management", which is about how people change--or try to change--other people's 'beliefs' and 'practices' about how they speak and write and stuff.

All I want to do for my essay is to introduce internet forums, using unicyclist.com as a primary example, as a cool new linguistic space/domain/place-to-talk-about-as-a-distinct-entity-that-we-have-not-yet-defined. And for that I want to basically gather anonymous quotes and examples of unique unicyclist jargon/nomenclature/slang/other neat linguistic practices, as an example of the uniqueness of this place.

I will post up my finished essay in PDF and DOC if anyone wants when it's finished, which is officially allowed to be as late as April 23rd. Any opinions after that will still be of interest to linguistic and sociological science, and future generations, of course.
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Old 2011-03-25, 04:59 AM   #2
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I have noticed some changes in my writing style since joining the forums. My posts have definitely become less essayish and a bit more informal.

I do sometimes list a bunch of synonyms/equivalent/substitute/alternate words with slashes between them but that is mostly a joke about the poster dacoroman who we all love and miss, but I am guessing you know the joke

Other than that I just write shorter paragraphs and try not to be too wordy.

Oh and I no-longer use the local shorthands PA for Prince Albert, Saskatchewan or LA for La Ronge, Saskatchewan as they just get people confused.
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Old 2011-03-25, 05:26 AM   #3
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Well unicyclist.com is not my first forum, by a long shot. But over time I have tried to avoid the lol's and lmao's and those sort of things. Also avoiding use of normal smilies like =) and using the super-cool forum ones instead

As far as my speech patterns, well I speak in fragments a lot, which I don't do when speaking verbally. And even though I often check my post before posting it, I still will be very vague or confusing. Often I can be perceived as annoying or a jerk for leaving a single comment with very strange wording, when that was not my intent.

I started using forums at a very young age, so I've had to try to mature my forum habits. Communicating via text on the internet can have very good or very bad effects, it is difficult to be sure.

EDIT: Also I edit a lot.

And I've learned to separate ideas with breaks, even if they are of the same topic, because if people see a wall of text, they are less inclined to read it.

EDIT 2: And lots of commas, like... LOTS.
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Old 2011-03-25, 06:00 AM   #4
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Thank you, Eric and Dane M! That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm interested in.

I guess I should talk about myself as well. I keep a UPD count on my rides sometimes. Without an acronym I discovered on this forum, I would just keep track of how many times I fell.

I call my KH36 'my 36er' out loud, to normal non-unicycling people. I add "unicycling" to any dictionary I can.

I'm pretty sure 'UPD' and '36er' are pretty unique to unicyclist.com. Jokes were predicated on things that I'm pretty sure are only funny on unicyclist.com (e.g., "yoo pee dee" as a custom user title [hope I'm not misquoting] paired with a Star Wars Jawa avatar.)

Whenever possible I attempt to interfere with WYOW comments from strangers. That's a whole genre of joke (though I imagine it also was before unicyclist.com arrived).

And how, some people used to write "b*ke" as a euphemism for those two-wheeled things.

Perhaps some MRians would care to join in on this point as well, because I have seen the number 768 pop up in Most Replys an inordinate number of times. I understand if you don't want to broadcast it publicly.

What's the oldest thread you can resurrect? How relevant must your comment be at that point? What relation does that have to how likely other members are to pick that thread up again?
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Old 2011-03-25, 06:08 AM   #5
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Usually people are ok with an old thread being resurrected for these 2 main reasons:

1. The person resurrecting it has something to add to it (like an update on the status of Blank, or a new invention has improved this Thing)
2. Or it's something interesting enough that no one cares that the person accidentally picked an old topic.

Often when it is frowned upon is when the person forgot that they had searched for it, and then post a comment that wasn't worth bring it back up. Example: Late-comer posts something like "That's cool", it doesn't really do anything for the thread if it doesn't follow #2 above.

The likelihood of it getting picked back up and discussed is purely subjective to the topic and the people who see it.
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Old 2011-03-25, 06:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by unisteve View Post
Hello fellow unicyclists. My name is Steve (orly?). I joined this site when I was 12. I was kind of a huge noob then, and am only now less so in the field of unicycling. I have been a lot more of a lurker than a poster, admittedly, but I have kept an eye on these forums.

The reason for the subject of my thread is that I am in a class called Language Planning and Language Policy in some awesome college in Toronto. In order that I complete my next and final essay, I am requesting if you would, basically, just say whether you have changed your speech patterns and word use and stuff as a result of your joining the unicyclist.com forums? Whether just on the forums or wherever. Whatever your native language is. (I will assume it's English unless otherwise specified.)
I think I have been a more aggressive asshole, than I would be in person. The key board is a sorta magic space, where I can dice with words. In real life, I come up short, and rarely dis people. Online, I am snappy and smart. Got a lot of time. Until proved a dumb ass (it has happened on this forum a few times). Online, you fight with links and knowledge. Many people on this forum have forced me to learn more, so I could keep debating them. IMHO, a number of people on this forum are not stupid. I will not name them or the others , the game goes on, but thank's you all.
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Old 2011-03-25, 07:48 PM   #7
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I hadn't thought about it from that angle, Feel The Light! Thanks for bringing that up.

Thanks for posting, everyone. Your contributions to science may go unnoticed by everyone but never by me.

Some more random q's to get you thinking: Do you deal differently with noobs compared to veteran posters? Are you more likely to correct their terminology and/or posting habits if you feel they're a little off?
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Old 2011-03-25, 08:04 PM   #8
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Well if its something bad like saying "Khris Holms" then I feel obligated to correct them.

But I have always disliked the way that some people look to your post count and join date and make their first judgement about you based on that. I don't look down on new riders or members, I was both at one point. People helped me (and still help me) so I help them. Pay it forward.
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Old 2011-03-25, 09:52 PM   #9
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I think like most people, I was a little nervous when I first started posting here.
It's like being at a party and not knowing anyone, you're unsure of relaxing and being yourself just in case you say the wrong thing and upset someone.
But after a while I got to know regular posters, understand how they think and 'get' their sense of humour.
As for unicycling terms that have entered my regular vocabulary, the only thing I can think of offhand is 'clown bike'.
That's how I refer to my uni, it's a self-deprecating term that's easy for my friends and strangers to understand (I'm also a type 2 diabetic, and often refer to my condition as 'dirty, stinkin' diabetes', but that's another story).
768 isn't an MR thing, that started on its own (although God knows that MR has more than enough of its own weirdness).
Although I believe 'phlamph' did originate there (JJuggle can give you the details of that one).

Oh, and I've noticed that I tend to finish my posts on a seperate line to everything else I've written.
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I wuld get a 20' trialls uni prolly with a blu tiar.
Get splined an a KH saet or ur a pansy.
Get trials cuz thaz whut i du n u mus wannaa whut i du 2.
lol...awwsum.

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Old 2011-03-25, 10:47 PM   #10
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Thank you, sirs!

I'm definitely going to touch on the gentle correction I see directed at new members so they can more easily figure this place out. e.g., no unicycle-specific chat in JC (been caught there myself ), how spammers are treated and recognized based on their posting styles--things like that.
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Old 2011-03-26, 12:57 AM   #11
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Spammers, usually post count under 10, posting in the wrong thread/section/forum. Or making their own thread about selling laptops or some crap. Or free viagra. It's pretty easy to tell. Usually no one responds to them. I always hit the report button and put in message "spam" and they're gone pretty quick.

My definition of a spammer is a bit different though. I think of spammers as people that don't belong on the forum (meaning that they didn't join to talk about unicycling)

Some people define a spammer as someone who posts a lot. But I don't think that is accurate because you can post a lot but post good information and be helpful.
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-It always looks steeper, higher, longer, and more technical.
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Old 2011-03-26, 02:11 AM   #12
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I hadn't thought about it from that angle, Feel The Light! Thanks for bringing that up.

Thanks for posting, everyone. Your contributions to science may go unnoticed by everyone but never by me.

Some more random q's to get you thinking: Do you deal differently with noobs compared to veteran posters? Are you more likely to correct their terminology and/or posting habits if you feel they're a little off?
I hope I am not down on noobs. This is a special forum for uni riders after all.

I do care more about the opinions of veteran posters I have debated over the years. I think that with time, you can attune yourself to someones philosophy, even if you don't agree with it. .Childs and Foss are the best wrench's, I hate Shawn the pussy but he made some great vids. OK , I don't really hate him, it was just fun. Billy is likely a fat old lame ass like me, just more religious. Lot's of riders, I don't expect to agree with them , but I will think more about their posts because we have done this several years. Gilby can't decide right now if there is a lot more head room in aluminum and copper than in gold and silver. He loves commodities (real money). We all stereotype each other heavily, after reading so many posts. I kinda think that is a good thing.
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Old 2011-03-26, 03:57 AM   #13
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Sorry, FTL, that wasn't directed at you in particular and I didn't mean it as an accusation.

I just think this place is awesome. Gilby created this virtual area and he lets us use it basically however we want. As I recall, Just Conversation was only added to keep excessive lol'ing and pointlessness out of RSU. I think that's significant--a lot of people with the resources to put a site like this together want to have much more control over how it is used.

I also think it's interesting how members self-moderate really well here. Posts are generally of a civil tone even in the ubiquitous debate threads. When things become more heated, or more than PG-13, gentle reminders that "This is a family forum, after all" are usually enough to keep people in check and out of the gutter. (There are other internet forums for that.)

I've been on a lot of forums that exploit the anonymity of posting on the internet, so people don't feel they have to civil and polite with one another. Here I find that most posters speak like they're talking to someone in real life. Yet more evidence of the legitimacy of unicyclist.com as a linguistic space--this place is real. Oh yeah!

For slang users and inventors: how much of your unicycle-related slang did you pick up at unicyclist.com? Have you ever introduced some new word or phrase? How did it work out? What does it take for a new slang term to catch on at unicyclist.com? I'm going to be looking into posts related to Klaas Bil's 'Total Gear Ratio' for sure, and any other uni-slang I can think of, but thoughts from real people are always nice.
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Old 2011-03-26, 05:02 AM   #14
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I'm pretty sure 'UPD' and '36er' are pretty unique to unicyclist.com.
Yes, I think they started here. But now they live in the real world as well. Before we called them 36ers they were Cokers, and people who rode them a lot were Cokerheads or Cokeurs. The Coker label held on for quite a while after Coker was the only brand, and some people still use it. Until last summer I only had Coker 36ers so it was easy for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unisteve
Whenever possible I attempt to interfere with WYOW comments from strangers. That's a whole genre of joke (though I imagine it also was before unicyclist.com arrived).
I first wrote a "Where's Your Other Wheel" article for the USAs quarterly Newsletter in 1981. It was titled "Snappy Comebacks to Stupid Remarks" but used the classic WYOW as the main line. BTW, I never saw that acronym before this thread.
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What's the oldest thread you can resurrect? How relevant must your comment be at that point?
Threads go back many years before Gilby created this site, to the rec.sport.unicycling days on Usenet. I think the limit is 1993. The resurrecting of old threads should follow the same rules of new ones; the reason for using it should be on-topic, and meaningful for more than one or two people. Often it is better to add to an ancient thread than to create a new one on the same topic.
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Do you deal differently with noobs compared to veteran posters? Are you more likely to correct their terminology and/or posting habits if you feel they're a little off?
Yes, though I try to be nice about it. I'm definitely less polite with long-time users that should know better.

For noob users, I expect them not to have the background of having been in this community, and answer their questions accordingly. Also I think I'm sometimes better at understanding questions from people coming in for the first time; the regulars here forget what unicycling is like for "normal" people, and have to be reminded that the vast majority of unicycles in the world are pretty basic.

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Some people define a spammer as someone who posts a lot. But I don't think that is accurate because you can post a lot but post good information and be helpful.
Indeed. If I understand the term correctly, it's mostly about posting off-topic. Then there's more to it as it applies in forums, such as posting the same thing to a pile of different threads (which I guess also fits the basic definition of online spam). We've had a couple of recent cases of veteran forum users getting emotional and going on spamming sprees, cross-posting all over the place. A very rare temporary ban from Gilby usually brings them back to their senses pretty quick.

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Childs and Foss are the best wrench's...
I had to re-read that one a couple of times. I definitely look up to JC (John Childs), especially if it has anything to do with Loctite. But as for me, I don't really enjoy working on the unicycles. I guess I had to do a lot of it back in the day, but now I just try to buy stuff that won't break (because now we can).

Quote:
Originally Posted by unisteve View Post
Posts are generally of a civil tone even in the ubiquitous debate threads.
In those, I have learned to debate intelligently (most of the time), and try to pick apart arguments, not people. I have learned there's no reason you can't have a discussion with someone you vehemently disagree with, as long as both of you are willing to be civil about it. This is a valuable lesson for everyone; a skill we should all cultivate. This place has been great for that, and just general practice in expressing written ideas clearly enough to be understood by non-native English speakers, kids, old folks, and other weirdos.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unisteve
I've been on a lot of forums that exploit the anonymity of posting on the internet, so people don't feel they have to civil and polite with one another. Here I find that most posters speak like they're talking to someone in real life.
True. The opposite of this place is the ubiquitous "comments" area under an article or video clip on most larger sites. There, people feel free to post the rudest and most ignorant stuff ever. Stuff that would disqualify you even from appearing in one of Jay Leno's Jay Walking segments.

Just like a car provides you with semi-anonymity (and a steel shell) while driving, the Internet is a place where one can hide and snipe all over the place.

And I've always treated it like I was talking to someone in real life. Who would have thought I would ever meet Rowan, for example, a guy in New Zealand? Not until a Unicon was held down there, and we hung out together on the trails of Middle Earth. I've met a lot of the people here; some before these forums existed and more after. I even know who "this guyI know" is. I once hired Maestro8 to be in a Trials show. I used to play Unicycle Sumo (in the 80s) with Hardcore Coker Rider. Someday I will probably get to meet Mikefule, Gild and maybe even BillyTheMountain! But hopefully not Miss Ayersley (unless I already have).
Quote:
Originally Posted by unisteve
how much of your unicycle-related slang did you pick up at unicyclist.com? Have you ever introduced some new word or phrase? How did it work out? What does it take for a new slang term to catch on at unicyclist.com?
I've probably brought more here than I picked up. I was involved in unicycling long before the forums, and was around for the invention of the IUF, MUni, Unicon, Trials competition, Road Racing, Street, Flat, international competition rulebooks, and MUni Weekends. We made up a lot of terminology for those things. Some of it caught on easily, while some has been a struggle.

For new slang/terminology to catch on, people have to use it. If they don't repeat it, it won't go anywhere. For example, while I still add the capitol U in MUni, few others still do. But they used it that way in Trivial Pursuit, and I get to take the credit for that. In another example, U Games was a great new name for the USA convention last summer in Berkeley. Beats the crap out of NAUCC, but the 2011 hosts didn't agree. NAUCC it is.
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Old 2011-03-26, 05:37 AM   #15
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What does it take for a new slang term to catch on at unicyclist.com? I'm going to be looking into posts related to Klaas Bil's 'Total Gear Ratio' for sure, and any other uni-slang I can think of, but thoughts from real people are always nice.
[Rant]I have no problem with his acronym TGR but I really think it should be Total Gain Ratio. Makes more sense as most of us don't have gears.[/Rant]


You are right a lot of us talk like we know each other and that is partly because after a while a lot of us do. When I stumbled upon these forums I knew one other person who unicycled and could barely wobble down a street. Since then I have met quite a few of the people who post here and can actually put a face to a screen name. I guess I like to maintain a good impression online for when I eventually meet someone in real life or they decide to randomly send you a beer in the mail from across the sea.
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