Its one site for all. Diverse culture will evidently bring some slangs which are kind of strong words.
Recently, on the question https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/286572/increase-voltage-from-1v-to-5v there was a query asked below an answer from another user.

WTF is a digital opamp

[direct link to that comment]
[Ed: Comment has been deleted after this was asked]

Is it okay to ignore and continue or should I raise a flag?

I wish not to see such comments. But, I understand, its not only the words, it is the context too.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain wtf is wrong with that question in a comment? \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Feb 15 '17 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ The comment was mine and of course there is no such thing as a digital opa, it was my response to a (to me at least) completely nonsensical answer. \$\endgroup\$ – user1890202 Feb 15 '17 at 20:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There are however programmable gain instrumentation amplifiers with digital interfaces. Cool huh? I'd never have found out if not for the.... let's say creative poster ;) \$\endgroup\$ – user1890202 Feb 15 '17 at 20:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry to have offended you Umar, to me the w-word has become a "written jawdrop" for me even though it is a nasty acronym for (as everybody knows) "Worse Than Failure". \$\endgroup\$ – user1890202 Feb 15 '17 at 20:20
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I still don't understand how this can be considered offensive, even if the "fuck" word is used. An insult is offensive. These expressions are not insults, they are not directed towards somebody, they are just used to emphasize (in a crude way, sure) what comes after. I will certainly raise a flag if I see someone saying "you are an idiot" to somebody, but certainly not if I see "read the fucking manual". I think the latter is much less offensive than the former, despite the level of language. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Feb 15 '17 at 21:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dim lots of things are offensive without being insulting. Odors are a good example, and carelessly making certain odors in public is rude. The same can be said of language. \$\endgroup\$ – user133290 Feb 15 '17 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, someone seems to have deleted my comment for some bizarre reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Feb 16 '17 at 6:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ The comment this question is about has been deleted as well, likely due to additional flags. This question is still valid though, in terms of policy. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Feb 16 '17 at 7:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user1890202 I overlooked your comment here. There is no need to be sorry. Your comment was not offensive to any person. Its just to understand how our site policy treats the special words. Because, our community is diverse, better to try to stick to the site policy \$\endgroup\$ – User323693 Feb 19 '17 at 13:36

It is okay to ignore these terms.

This site, and particularly the comments, is very informal compared to, say, an academic paper or a Q&A session at an academic conference. Terms like this are very commonly used in informal discussion on the internet, and you're unlikely to be able to change that. In face-to-face discussions between engineers, we're likely to be even more informal, using the full expressions "what the fuck" and "read the fucking manual", rather than hiding the strong words behind initialisms.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I could decipher only two. What on earth do all these mean?RTFM LOL ORELS WUT ZOT DED KEK please elaborate. I am asking honestly. \$\endgroup\$ – User323693 Feb 15 '17 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try here: internetslang.com \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Feb 15 '17 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Umar, you should frequent our EE.SE chat to become fluent (and even poetic, perhaps) with these concepts. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Feb 15 '17 at 18:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems to contradict with the meta (as posted by Passerby in their answer) \$\endgroup\$ – user133290 Feb 15 '17 at 23:27
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @DoritoStyle, "RTFM" as a comment is rude because it says the user didn't do the necessary research before asking their question, not because people are offended by the letter 'F'. Also, EE.SE has a bit different standard of rudeness from other stacks, and telling the OP they're an idiot seems to be tolerated and even encouraged here (I don't support this aspect of our culture, but many top users and mods seem to). \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Feb 15 '17 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton thanks for the link. \$\endgroup\$ – User323693 Feb 16 '17 at 4:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton: it is the everlasting problem of SE having visitors from different cultures. In some cultures it is fine to tell the truth, in others it is only accepted to tell the truth if it's a really positive thing. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Feb 16 '17 at 8:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton No, expletives are also discouraged site-wide as well, so there's really not much to be gained from saying RTFM. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22232 \$\endgroup\$ – user133290 Feb 16 '17 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DoritoStyle, in that case the advantage is that most people consider the letter 'F' less offensive than the word it stands for. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Feb 16 '17 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton frankly, that's a poor assumption these days. The F might have meant something else at one point but I think the implication of the expletive is clear. Combine that with the low usefulness of such phrases and there is no argument in their favor. \$\endgroup\$ – user133290 Feb 16 '17 at 17:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @DoritoStyle, and when I say "heck" or "shoot", people also know that these stand in for more vulgar words. Does that make "heck" and "shoot" equally offensive as those vulgar words? \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Feb 16 '17 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that that is a false comparison. For instance, I don't know many who would consider "Read The Fine Manual" offensive, but I know plenty who would be offended to hear literally "F you!". The difference is that you actually changed the word and didn't imply that you wanted to say the vulgar one. \$\endgroup\$ – user133290 Feb 16 '17 at 18:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe relegate "F" to the number 6 because it's the 6th letter of the alphabet so RTFM becomes RT6M. Personally I'm going to go down the line of not using the F word and replace RTFM with RTMM. Any guesses what that means LOL? It seems it isn't being mentioned on the 6ing internet so I can use it and nobody can definitively state what it means. I know what it means and please feel free to use it to suit the situation as appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Feb 18 '17 at 11:35

Continue to flag them. SE has decided that these type of phrases are not proper here. Just like they decided that we can't link people to "LET ME GOOGLE THAT FOR YOU". It is rude, and against the Be Nice Policy.

RTFM = LMGTFY in level of rudeness.

See this meta.se post for proof. This is a network wide decision.

How should we deal with RTFM comments?

Ban LMGTFY (let me google that for you) links

For example, LMGTFY and similar urls have been explicitly blacklisted by the system as never being useful. Something like RTFM or WTF or even a bare fuck depends on context and are harder to blacklist. The site depends on user flagging to get rid of them, when proper.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I see nothing in the discussions you've referenced about a community-wide decision having been made. Yes, "Be Nice" rules, but there's nothing in either one of those threads that calls for anything beyond simple community moderation. Interestingly, one of the only "rude or abusive" flags I've ever raised, which was declined, was over a comment you made, so it's nice to see you coming around to the be nice policy. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Feb 16 '17 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scott the LMGTFY has been marked as status complete. You literally can't post things with that website url here. You will find posts by diamond users in that thread saying they added that feature. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Feb 16 '17 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't think LMGTFY literally meant post a google link. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Feb 16 '17 at 20:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scott it is a site that when loaded, makes it look like the Google search page, animates a mouse moving, keyboard typing and sounds, condescendingly acting like someone is literally googling it for you. It's more than just posting a Google search result. It's the difference of posting the link to the datasheet and saying rtfm. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Feb 16 '17 at 21:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ RTFM is a lot more ancient than LMGTFY. Somewhat less condescending too. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Feb 17 '17 at 20:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman lmgtfy.com/?q=lmgtfy :) \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Feb 20 '17 at 10:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev horses for courses. LMGTFY is very condescending as its basically say "a 30second google would answer that" while RTFM is more "the manual has all the information you need, don't waste my time". The irony of RTFM is it is usually the response to "how do I do foo with gnu-date" and the date man pages are notoriously obtuse (all the info but damn is it hard to grok sometimes...) \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Feb 20 '17 at 10:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .