2 Conversations

In this community there are lots of words which could puzzle new
researchers. Not everyone realises that the phrase; 'I told the Powers about him flaming that newbie, but it just got referred to the mods. I should have yikesed it to start with.'1 can be confusing to the uninitiated. The purpose of this mini-guide is to clear up the confusion. Hopefully. It'll keep me off the streets for a while anyway 2.

How to use this guide

If you're looking for a specific word, skim through the alphabetical list at the top.
The rest of the list is in a 'train of thought' order, which may or may not be a good
thing. A/t stands for 'associated terms', while Aka stands for 'also known as'.

Officials and their names

  • The late Douglas Noel Adams, who wrote the

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the concept behind this website. Aka
    • DNA, his rather convenient initials
  • The Editors run the site. Aka:
    • The Powers That Be
    • The Powers in the Towers, because not only do they work in a tower, but- joy of joys - it rhymes
    • TPTB - abbreviation for The Powers That Be
    • The Powers
    • The Italics - because their names appear like this
  • The ACEs, or Assistant Community Editors,
    are people who roam the site trying to make every feel at ease: Aka
    • A**hole where the first three letters are a-c-e- an offensive term for a
      bad ACE. If you use it in its entirety it will be starred out by the moderators to look
      like A*****e

    • To be Aced - to be greeted on your user page by an ACE, who will normally
      offer a welcome message and some handy links3
  • The Gurus help out people with queries
    about the site, and can usually be found in the feedback forums
  • The Scouts have the job of choosing which
    articles go into the edited guide.
  • The Subeditors edit entries that have
    been picked for inclusion into the edited guide. Aka
    • Subs- a shortened version of subeditors, not anything else that
      springs to mind, unless you're in a conversation that probably isn't suitable for a
      family site such as this

    • Subbing, short for subediting
  • The Moderators are people who read
    every word that's written here, checking that the content it suitable and removing it if
    it isn't. Aka;
    • The Mods
    • The Censors
    • All sorts of rude terms that they'd only star out if I wrote them down.

Unofficial people

  • Trolls are people who say nasty things purely to provoke an argument, and
    are supposed to be dealt with severely by the editors.
  • Flamers are people who lose their temper and post hastily nasty things
    which are often regretted. Flaming is also forbidden. A/t
    • Flame War - an argument between researchers which results in them
      repeatedly flaming each other
  • Newbies are new researchers.
  • Lurkers are people who frequently read conversations without commenting.


  • The Guardian angels are an unofficial
    group who adopt anyone who wants a mentor, befriending and helping them, although
    they're no longer a particularly active bunch. Aka:
    • GAs

    • Archangels are the angels in charge of the Guardian angels.
    • Archs are archangels
    • Guardees are people who are being looked after by an angel
  • A mug is something you drink tea out of. A MuG, on the other hand, is a member of
    the Musicians Guild.
  • The Muses are artistic folks devoted to
    cheesecake and the ancient Greeks.
  • The Small But Vocal Minority are a club
    who moaned that I hadn't included them. They did so, of course, because they don't
    want new researchers to be confused by references to the society in forums. The
    alternative explanation, that they're a bunch of whinging lefties with far too little to
    do, is clearly highly insulting and should not be entertained for a second. Aka:
    • SBVM
  • The Thingites lead the Campaign to
    rename Thursday, "Thing"
    , and also want to change the names of the other days. A/t
    • Sodit, Wimpy, Wibble, Thing, Poets, Doobry, Dontbry are the proposed
      names for the days of the week, from Monday to Sunday.
    • The Spork is the Thingite weapon of
  • Zaphodistas are a group of people who
    protest about how the site is run. The name is an amalgamation of Zaphod5 and Zapatista6. Aka
    • Zaps

Places and things

  • The Guide is the whole of h2g2, both community and entries. aka
    • Hootoo because this is easier to pronounce than h2g2, notwithstanding the
      fact that it's harder to type.
  • The Edited Guide is the section of the guide containing edited entries,
    specially picked for inclusion. The idea was based on the concept of building an earth
    version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
  • 42. The meaning of
    life7. Researchers here go to extraordinary length to find it in
    whatever they can, especially their user numbers. i.e. U168963 becomes 16+8+9+6+3

  • Threads. Not clothes, these are the forums, or fora, found at
    the bottom of nearly every page. To read one just click on it, and to contribute click on
    the reply button.
  • Posts. These are the individual contributions to forums, with their own
    number. There are a maximum of twenty to a page, for as many pages as necessary-
    some forums have over a thousand posts, but they are thankfully the minority. NB; Not
    to be confused with The Post, the h2g2
  • Backlogs are the previous messages on a forum. It is polite to read the
    backlog before contributing to a serious forum, in order to make sure your point hasn't
    already been made, but if you're pressed for time then mention in the post that you
    haven't read the backlog.
  • The Yikes button is the screaming face on every post. It looks like this in Alabaster, and like this in Classic Goo. If you click it up pops a
    box for putting your complaints in. If you abuse it by complaining about spellings or
    other trivial matters you'll get in trouble, so only use it for complaints about breaches
    of the House Rules.
    • The Linda button- not to be confused with Linda the community assistant. Coined by U25551

    • To Yikes a post is to complain about it
    • To be Yikesed is to have your post complained about.
  • Simpost. Simultaneous post, i.e. two researchers submit a reply to a post at
    exactly the same time. This is generally only noticed when they made the same point,
    looking like the one displayed last didn't read the previous post.
  • Doublepost- when a researcher gets impatient with the slowness of h2g2
    and clicks the 'post message' button again, so the same post is made twice. This happens
    especially with newbies who don't realise that the minute they pressed the button the
    reply was stored. It isn't unusual to see triple or quadruple posts. Apparently a
    feature now exists to prevent these occurrences.
  • A Typo is a typing error, pointed out when entries are submitted to the
    edited guide.
  • Guide ML is Guide Markup language, an easy version of HTML which
    can be used in entries if we like. It makes life much easier and allows us to use graphics
    and the like.
  • Smileys are little tiny pictures which we
    can use in forums and entries smiley - biggrin. You can find them in lots of
    internet chatrooms, sometimes going under the name emoticons, but only here are they
    actual pictures smiley - cool. For big pictures try the Graphics Library, but not for forums. It's also common to see,
    in forums, Pseudo-smileys. These are bits of code that look like they're for a smiley-
    but no smiley actually exists for them. A common example is <towel>.
  • Review Forums are
    places to submit articles you've written for other people to read. There are five of the
    • Peer Review is the place to submit
      finished articles you would like to see added to the edited guide. Aka:
      • PR
    • The Writing Workshop is the
      place to submit entries that you'd like advice on. Aka
      • The Writer's Workshop
      • The WW
    • The Collaborative Writing
      is where you can turn up with an idea and work with someone
      else on a joint article
    • The Alternative Writing Workshop
      is a place to put pieces that don't obey the Writing
      , and so are unsuitable for the Edited Guide, but that the author
      would still like help improving.
    • The Flea Market is where
      entries are moved to if their authors desert h2g2. Then other researchers can finish
      them off.
    • *Extra Bonus Forum* The Sin
      used to be where entries were placed when they were put into the
      wrong forum, or were in a bad format. Now technology exists to stop this happening, so
      the Bin isn't needed any more.
  • A294833 is where you can have your stories displayed,
    should you wish to shun facts. It's a nice friendly place, and completely unofficial.
    Similar to a review forum, but much less formal.
  • Infinite Improbability Drive is the facility which takes you to a random
    entry. Aka:
    • The Serendipity Button
  • Topic drift, or just plain Drift, is when a conversation starts
    wandering off until it has nothing to do with the original topic. A very common
  • Skins are the backgrounds you can choose to view h2g2 with. They change
    the colours and the format of the pages you read, including your personal space. They
    can be changed by clicking on the preferences button. A/t:
    • Classic was the original h2g2 skin. It is dark blue8 with
      white text.
    • Goo, the common name for Classic.
    • Alabaster is now the default skin for h2g2. It is white, green and orange,
      with black text.
    • To be Alabastered is to have a page load in alabaster when you didn't want
      it to.
    • To be Alabastardised is the same, but contains a rude word smiley - yikes and so sometimes gets starred out.
  • The BBC own h2g2, although they didn't always- h2g2 was once a little
    dot.com company. Aka:
    • The Beeb
    • The Sirius Cybernetic Corporation9
    • The Vogons10
  • Rupert was the period of time when h2g2 was shut down while the BBC were
    taking over11. Coined by U39466. Aka:
    • The Interregnum
    • The [great] Foop
    • H0G0
  • Llama, Ripley and dna are all different versions of h2g2. The current one is dna.
  • The 'Infamous Intelligence Thread' was a thread in Peer Review which
    turned very long and nasty. Just as Americans hark on about Pearl Harbour, so
    researchers compare everything to that thread.

Acronyms and abbreviations

There are squillions of these. Termed 'TLA's - Three letter acronyms - most of them
are actually abbreviations of different numbers of letters. But that's just life, isn't
it? Anyhow, if you see one that you don't recognise, just ask the person who used it. If
you don't want to do that, ask me at the bottom of the page smiley - smiley

  • ATM - At the moment
  • BCNU - Be seeing you
  • LOL - Laugh out loud
  • ROFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
  • RTFM - Read the f*****g Manual
  • IMHO - In my humble opinion
  • IMO - In my opinion
  • AFAIK - As far as I know
  • HHGTTG - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • PGGB - Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster12
  • L8R - Later13
  • CUL8R - See you later14
  • BTW - By the way
  • ASAP - As soon as possible


23.05.02 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1I told the editors about him being aggressive towards that new researcher, but it just got referred for moderation. I should have pressed the automatic complaints button to start with.2Street crime in my area has fallen by 44% since I discovered h2g23Some of them even link to
this page
4Badge designed by Ottox5Zaphod Beeblebrox, a character in the Hitchhikers
Guide to the Galaxy
7According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy8Unless you
have a problem with your computer, in which case it may be black
9From The Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy
10From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
11From the fifth book in the Hitchhikers trilogy, Mostly
12From the Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy
13Start worrying if you find yourself using this

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