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Frequently Asked Questions About the Chat Rooms

The chat rooms are under construction. In the meantime, please join the conversations in the Discussion Boards. If you have never registered with our Discussion Boards, you can register now.

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Are there any rules about chatting here?

Learn more about's Terms of Use, Rules and Etiquette for Chatting, and Privacy Policy relating to these Chat Rooms. By entering the chats, you agree to abide by these terms, rules, and policies.

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I don't want to read what another chatter is saying. How can I stop seeing their text?

If you don't want to read what another individual is saying, you can choose to Ignore that person. Click on their name, and then click on "People" and "Ignore NAME."

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Someone is causing a problem in the chat. What can I do?

Please let us know as soon as possible. Until help arrives, you can let everyone in the room know that they should add the intruder to their Ignore list, and tell them how to do this. If a person is ignored by everyone in the room, it's likely s/he will leave quickly.

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What kinds of problems should I report?

Please let us know about anyone making rude or blatantly insensitive remarks, advertising or promoting cures, treatments, or products, trying to get personally identifiable information about another chatter, or if you're experiencing technical problems that aren't addressed in the technical help link. Although we're not always able to deal with reports immediately, we will review each one and take appropriate action.

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What kinds of problems should NOT be reported?

Chatters will sometimes walk away from their computers to go to an appointment, have a nap, or to get some work done and forget they're still connected. Most of the time when someone hasn't said something for a long time, this is all that's happened; they're not lurking or spying on anyone and don't need to be reported. moderators do check the rooms for long idle times, and will help someone who's been idle for many hours by closing that person's connection.

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What are the abbreviations and acronyms I see others using?

Acronyms and abbreviations are often used to speed up typing. You can also use symbols to express emotions. Select some favorites from the "Smileys" pull-down menu.

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What are some of the abbreviations specific to these chats?

This list is by no means complete, but is a good reference for shorthand used frequently online.

  • AFK: Away from keyboard
  • ASL: Age/Sex/Location
  • BBS: Be back soon/shortly
  • BRB: Be right back
  • BTW: By the way
  • CYA: See ya
  • FYI: For your information
  • IMHO: In my humble opinion
  • LOL: Laughing out loud
  • LTNS: Long time no see
  • LTNT: Long time no talk
  • NBD: No big deal
  • OIC: Oh I see
  • ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing
  • THX: Thanks
  • WTG: Way to go

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What chat features are available?

After logging in to chat, your browser toolbar will have some additional menu options. Below is a description of each feature.

Note: some browsers may display some menu options differently. The list below contains all chat features.

  • Places
  • Options
  • Themes
  • Links
  • Help

After you have entered a chat room, you will see the following (click a topic below for more information):

  • Room
  • Options
  • People
  • Themes
  • Links
  • Help

Note: To log out of chat completely, exit any rooms that you are in, then from the browser toolbar menu select Places→Exit.

  • Places (displays when you are not in a chat room, but logged in)
    • List Rooms: Display a list of all available rooms that you can enter.
    • Enter Room: Enter the highlighted room from the list of rooms.
    • Exit: Sign out of the chat program.
  • Room (displays when you are in a chat room)
    • Close
  • Options
    • Font Name
      • Serif
      • Sans-Serif
      • Monospaced
    • Font Style
      • Regular
      • Italic
      • Bold
      • Bold Italic
    • Increase Font: In the Chat window, the font type and size are displayed. Increase Font will increase the font size by one size larger. You can select this repeatedly until the desired font size is reached.
    • Decrease Font: In the Chat window, the font type and size are displayed. Decrease Font will decrease the font size by one size smaller. You can select this repeatedly until the desired font size is reached.
    • Accept Private Chats: This allows other users t send you private messages that only you can see.
    • Entrance Alerts: Select this menu item to display the name and profile of each person who enters a chat room. Select it again to turn off the feature.
    • Audio Alerts: Select this menu item to allow other people in the chat room to Ring you with an Audio Alert. Select it again to turn off the feature. Select both this menu item and the Entrance Alerts menu item to hear a sound each time a new person enters the chat room.
    • Show Count Changes: Select this menu item to have the room count displayed whenever someone enters or leaves the room. Select it again to turn off the feature.
    • Web Touring: Select this menu item to have Web addresses which appears in chat messages opened automatically in a Web browser window. Select it again to turn off the feature.
    • People (displays when you are in a chat room)
      • Ring: Highlight a user's name and click Ring to get a user's attention by sending an audible alert along with a text message indicating that you have alerted him/her. Note, the user will only be alerted if they have Audio Alerts turned on.
      • Ignore: If a user is bothering you and you do not wish to accept messages from them, highlight the user's name and click Ignore.
      • Count: Displays the number of users in the room at the bottom of your chat window.
    • Themes: Choose a theme to enhance the visual contrast of the chat window and text.
      • Plum
      • Desert
      • Marine
      • Pumpkin
      • Lime
      • High Contrast Black
      • High Contrast Black (Large)
      • High Contrast White
      • High Contrast White (Large)
      • Standard (default)
    • Link: This is a quick way to reach the Discussion Boards from the Chat window.
      • Discussion Boards

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