h2g2 Glossary

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Welcome to the h2g2 Glossary. Here you can discover definitions for the various pieces of terminology used around h2g2. Don't know your ACEs from your Rupert? Confused by terms such as cookies, mufflewhumps and Doobry? Then read on.

Editorial Terms

  • Conversation - a series of Postings by different Researchers. Sometimes shortened to convo.
  • DNA - Douglas Noel Adams, the inspiration for/inventor of the Guide.
  • dna - the platform that powers h2g2, it allows multiple sites to be run from the same servers, named after our founder, Douglas Noel Adams.
  • Blob - any graphic that appears on h2g2, apart from the smileys.
  • Edited Guide - a collection of entries that have gone through the Editorial process.
  • Editors/Editorial Team - The in-house staff. Also known as Italics or The Bold Italics because of the way their names appear in conversations.
  • Entries - articles written by the h2g2 Community.
  • Forum - same as Conversation.
  • Front Page - the front page or home page of h2g2.
  • Guide - h2g2 as a whole.
  • GuideML - the mark up language of the Guide, based on XML.
  • h2g2 - The Earth Edition of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, an unconventional guide to life, the universe and everything (2 hs, 2 gs).
  • House Rules - the terms and conditions for h2g2.
  • Infinite Improbability Drive - a tool that randomly selects a Guide entry.
  • Italics/Bold Italics - Any member of h2g2 staff, so called because their name appears in bold italics.
  • Journal - an online public diary located on each Personal Space.
  • Llama - the original version of the site.
  • Moderators - external staff who monitor h2g2 for content that breaks the House Rules.
  • Nickname - the name set by Researchers in their preferences.
  • Peer Review - the first stage in the Editorial process, where your writing is reviewed by other members of the Community.
  • Pending - the entry has been sub-edited and is in the queue for the Front Page.
  • Personal Space - an individual Researcher's home page.
  • Post or Posting - a message posted to a Forum.
  • Recommended - The entry has been picked by a Scout for inclusion in the Edited Guide.
  • Researcher - a member of the online Community who helps to build h2g2.
  • Ripley - the second version of the site.
  • Skins - an option that changes the layout and the functionality of h2g2.
  • Smileys - small graphics which can be used in conversations as well as entries, also known as emoticons.
  • Spamming - deliberately and unnecessarily posting the same (or similar) message numerous times.
  • The Powers That Be (or TPTB), The Powers in the Towers - Another name for The Editorial Team.
  • The Towers - The Editorial Team or the offices that house The Editorial Team.


  • ACEs - Assistant Community Editors - official greeters of new Researchers.
  • Community Artists - Volunteers who create graphics for the Edited Guide and Community groups.
  • Gurus - Volunteers who help answer questions on site.
  • Scouts - Volunteers who pick articles for inclusion in the Edited Guide from Peer Review.
    • Picks - The Scouts scout or 'pick' entries from Peer Review for the Edited Guide.
  • Sub-Editors - Researchers who undertake the first part of the Editing process by doing the initial editing (or 'subbing').
    • Batches - the scouted entries are sent to the Sub-Editors from the Editorial team in 'batches' of four every four weeks.
    • Panic - what some Subs feel when their four weeks run out and they haven't touched their batch of entries.

Community Terms

  • ACEd - to be greeted by an Assistant Community Editor.
  • *(text)* - gives emphasis to a word in plain text, or indicates that something is an action.
  • The Post - h2g2's Community newspaper.
  • Backlog - previous/older Postings of a conversation, which can run to many pages.
  • Cookies - a way for the servers to identify your computer and preferences so that h2g2 will recognise you.
  • Doublepost - clicking the 'post' button more than once accidentally, resulting in the same Posting appearing repeatedly. This is not the same as spam.
  • smiley - footprints - a polite way of indicating that someone is reading a thread, but has nothing to say - in effect, bookmarking.
  • Flame War - an online argument.
  • Flaming - posting something that's angry and mean-spirited.
  • Guardian Angels - Community run group of meeters and greeters.
  • Interregnum - the time h2g2 was offline due to a change of ownership - also known as Rupert (see below).
  • Lurkers - Researchers who read Conversations, but don't post to them.
  • Mufflewhump - the physical manifestation of your heart's desire.
  • Newbies - new users of the site.
  • Rupert - the time h2g2 was offline due to a change of ownership1 - also known as Interregnum.
  • SBVM - The Small But Vocal Minority.
  • Simpost/Simulpost - two or more people posting simultaneously to a Conversation.
  • Thingites - members of the campaign to rename Thursday 'Thing'.
    • Sodit - The Thingite name for Monday.
    • Wimpy - The Thingite name for Tuesday.
    • Wibble - The Thingite name for Wednesday.
    • Thing - The Thingite name for Thursday.
    • Poets - The Thingite name for Friday.
    • Doobry - The Thingite name for Saturday.
    • Dontbry - The Thingite name for Sunday.
  • Thread - a collection of postings forming a Conversation.
  • Topic drift - inability of h2g2 Conversations to stay on topic.
  • Troll - a person that says deliberately provocative things in order to stir up trouble.
  • Typo - a typing error.
  • Yikes button - Complaints button.
  • Zaphodistas - a Community run club, striving for greater freedom on h2g2.
1In "Mostly Harmless" a tenth planet is discovered on the edge of the solar system, and given some horrendously complex name but ends up being called Rupert after somebody's parrot.

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