Note from archiver<at>cs.uu.nl:
This page is part of a big collection
of Usenet postings, archived here for your convenience.
For matters concerning the content of this page,
please contact its author(s); use the
source, if all else fails.
For matters concerning the archive as a whole, please refer to the
or contact the archiver.
Subject: alt.syntax.tactical FAQ - Dealing with Trolls Crossposting and Flames Rev 20050130 - AST FAQ.txt (1/1)
This article was archived around: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:33:47 -0600
Greetings and Salutations:
This FAQ is about crossposts, troll and flames, and what to do about
Table of contents to this FAQ:
o Introducing the alt.syntax.tactical group
o Defining troll, flames and crossposts
o What to do
o A description of the alt.syntax.tactical crew (and lesser
o The alt.syntax.tactical FAQ - Know your opponents
Jamie, in a kind inimitable way, has informed me that some of the
scumware sites are showing this page in popups. If you see this
alt.spam FAQ in a popup please be assured that spyware / adware sites
are doing this to try to discredit anti-spam / anti-spyware sites.
Also please see my Alt.spam section on removing spyware.
Please feel free to repost this, e-mail it, put this FAQ on CD's or
any other media you can think of. Just please do not pop it up on the
screen of someone that did not ask for it.
The latest & greatest version of this FAQ will be found at one of the
Or *nicely* HTML'ed at:
Please email follow-ups / additions / changes comments / questions to
email@example.com . . . BUT PLEASE NOTE because I receive (on the
average) over 200 e-mails EVERY day (of which 195 or so are spam) you
MUST put the words "Alt.Syntax.Tactical" in the subject of the e-mail
or there is a VERY good chance the e-mail will be deleted without
being read. I get 10 or 15 "No Subject" spams a day.
trad.txt - Italian Translation
Translate from/to English French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
English to French:
English to German:
English to Italian:
English to Spanish:
Introducing the alt.syntax.tactical group
The alt.syntax.tactical crew (of which I am definitely not a member)
decides every now and then to start a colossal crosspost / flame war.
One of their attacks started trolling by crossposting between
alt.smokers, can.talk.smoking, alt.support.non-smokers, asthma and SCI
groups. The trollers would take an original post from alt.smokers,
pass it thru a anonymous remailer (with the original e-mail name
intact) and repost it to all of the above groups. This (as you can
guess) started a massive flame war with the original (innocent) poster
getting in trouble for the crosspost that they never made. It
migrated to rec.pets.cats and beyond, but the lines are ever changing.
It is rumored that the alt.syntax.tactical crew communicates through a
listserver, planning their next attack thru the back channels.
Wouldn't want the plans posted out in the open, now would we :-).
Jonathan tells us that while alt.tasteless (FAQ
http://www.aracnet.com/~jaydog/index2.html - WARNING - there is a
reason why it is called alt.tasteless) claims to have been responsible
for the rec.pets.cats war, it was really the first unofficial a.s.t.
invasion. Anyhow, just remember, it was all in good fun and we never
meant to do more than rile up a few people who took things a bit too
Michael tells us that the a.s.t. crew definitely DID NOT have their
origins in the alt.shenanigans newsgroup. There have been several
jokes played upon newsgroups which were planned in alt.shenanigans and
its associated mailing list, but none of them have been anything like
a.s.t. They've all been harmless, in fun, and have caused no real
The old alt.syntax.tactical crew as described by Lee Jackson
Beauregard ( http://www.smart.net/~rchason/ ) :
The first messages:
The first FAQ:
The MEOW brigade is essentially the same animal as the
alt.syntax.tactical brigade, just a different section of that same
family tree that doesn't branch. Not as bright either. For a story
on MEOWs, look at http://digital.net/~gandalf/meow.txt ... This is
also a perfect example of a MEOW post ... a reply with all the
previous text and no additional content. The "meow-meow's" say "meow"
because, at the moment they came across alt.fan.karl-malden.nose there
was a thread about, of all things, Henrietta Pussycat from Mr. Rogers'
Neighborhood. She, as you may recall, speaks like this:
"Meow meow go to bed meow? Meow very tired meow."
As a side note, I do have to admit that a few of the meowers *are*
involved in fighting spam (Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail) and do make
worthwhile / good contributions to the news.admin.net-abuse group but
I suspect that they think the rules are for everyone else, and do not
apply to meowers.
The coming and goings of the Meowers:
Who's who description:
The Meower's version, by The 2-Belo ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is located at
Or look at http://extra.newsguy.com/~shpxurnq/ or
These children are a version of Internet vandals. They mostly cause
trouble. There are many ways that they attack. All of the methods
are very simple (remember the abilities of the people we are dealing
with here). They use open NNTP servers, anonymous remailers, list
servers, mail to news gateways, or a program that has as part of the
Path : ...!gergs_bane.org!anon. Many times they pick "real looking"
e-mail addresses so that someone who has gotten them mad before will
get in trouble. Clue : Don't mailbomb the e-mail or postmaster of the
site listed in the e-mail, they are probably innocent and all that
will accomplish is getting you in trouble.
The idea of trolling is (of course) spreading to other mediums on the
Internet. Blogs have been invaded, Yahoo Groups, chat groups,
anywhere that multiple people gather. All of this advice applies to
any kind group discussion.
While these children may see this as a harmless prank, the end result
is that they censor the regular readers of the target group by
overwhelming the group with off topic messages.
Then there are some who are accused of being trollers yet do not
agree. They argue that they are only having a discussion. They call
it "sarcasm" "irony" or witty banter. There are many versions of this
kind of person, they argue and cause an uproar and don't understand
the uproar they cause. Others may not have understood their intention
and both sides may have gotten a little too caught up in the
discussion. It is possible to try and help these people understand
the uproar they cause using e-mail. Sometimes the cause is hopeless.
There is also a possibility that you are not even having a discussion
with a person. You could be corresponding to a automated computer
An old idea brought back to life:
As always an honorable mention must be given to Archimedes Plutonium,
see http://www.archimedesplutonium.com/ (I will let Archimedes speak
for himself) or
Bottom line is that every news group at one time or another has a
"troll". Someone who everybody learns to love to hate. The Troll
changes from news group to news group, from e-mail address to e-mail
address. Ever changing and nearly impossible to keep up with. Below
you will find out how to deal with these trolls.
You can find a list of the latest trollers (or the troller trying to
get their victim in trouble) by taking a look at the newsgroups
alt.usenet.kooks, alt.syntax.tactical, alt.fan.karl-malden.nose,
alt.flame, or alt.bigfoot.
See how well *your* Kook passes The Kook Test:
Defining troll, flames and crossposts
From the Jargon file (
troll v., n.
1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on
Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the
post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in
turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one
trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-
constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers
to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while
subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact
a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in
on it. See also YHBT. 2. An individual who chronically trolls in sense
1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a
newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to
annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the
fact that they have no real interest in learning about the topic at
hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures
they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and
as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as
in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll." Compare kook. 3. [Berkeley]
Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties
include helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed.
Probably so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike
Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower
category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing
some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also
The use of `troll' in either sense is a live metaphor that readily
produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not
infrequently sees the warning "Do not feed the troll" as part of a
follow-up to troll postings.
With the following Troll definitions:
* Playtime (1 off trolling)
* Tactical (long term trolling by a single character)
* Strategic (long term trolling using multiple characters and
* Domination (trolls who run mailing lists themselves)
From : The ONE AND ONLY alt.flame FAQ- by Christopher Henrik Lund :
a) Flaming: I.e. rude comments, insults, personal attacks, etc.
b) Trolling: I.e. fishing for flames. Usually takes the form of inane
postings like smarmy love chatter, useless pieces of boring
information, McClatchie's FAQ, etc.
c) Cascades: Endless meaningless threads the posters repeat the same
phrase over and over, sometimes with a little variation. They are
amusing to the ones participating in them, boring to everyone else.
Crossposting is posting a message to more than one group.
Avoiding flaming :
alt.AOL.sucks Troll FAQ
http://orangefox.svs.com/rem/other/lame-posts-faq - REC.MUSIC.REM lame
http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/2342/waste.html - a.t.x-
files troll info
http://www.intersurf.com/~aevinc/aev2trol.htm - How to avoid being
Flames and trolls :
http://www.netxpress.com/users/geri/TrollLinks.htm - Troll Links
ixnews19.ix.netcom.com - Bill Palmers comments on trolling
Understanding A.R.E. Trolls
q.org - Troll FAQ part 1
ollfaq.org - Troll FAQ part 2
aq.org - Troll FAQ part 3
lfaq.org - Troll FAQ part 4
lfaq.org - Troll FAQ part 5
http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/byzantium/55/troll.htm - Troll
http://www.intersurf.com/~aevinc/aev2trol.htm - All about trolls
newsgroups.html - The Song :-) ...
016.remarq.com - "Don't Feed The Trolls" article
http://home.att.net/~newsbee/asl/trolls.html - Troll point system and
how to ignore trolls
http://www.hyphenologist.co.uk/killfile/antitrollfaqhtm.htm - Anti-
http://spiralx.dyndns.org/howto.html - Slash Dot Troll
http://www.trollville.org/ - Where Trolls can go be themselves, no
.fi - Finnish Troll FAQ
The current Alt.Goth troll FAQ:
Or bring up :
http://www.hotbot.com/ or http://www.google.com/
and search for trolls flames
Or for a definition of Trolls :
http://it.geocities.com/roccopapaleo/italiano.html - Italian
Fravia suggests you have a look at troll lore :
And more general anonymity lore:
What some of these children enjoy doing:
One of the clubs:
And the start of the messages:
What to do
You are reading one of your favorite newsgroups and all of the sudden
you see the following message:
Subject: Can I bring my cat to Hell with me?
Newsgroups: alt.flame, alt.spleen, k12.chat.teacher, alt.bigfoot,
alt.tasteless, alt.gathering.rainbow, alt.evil, alt.bigfoot,
alt.sex.cthulhu, k12.chat.senior, alt.satanism, rec.pets.cats
Date: 26 Jun 1994 23:41:48 -0700
From: email@example.com (Ron Shmet)
Organization: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
I am aware that I can't take my "stuff" with me when I die...
Rest of post deleted because of stupidity but if you are really
interested in the entire post:
O.K... so you know what a flame, a crosspost and a troll are. Now
what do you do about it?
A) Sit on your hands and bite your tongue. Reread the post. It may
be a new person to the Internet who has innocently hit your raw nerve.
B) Do NOT click Reply or Follow-up. When you do this they win and you
lose. You just did what they were wanting you to do.
C) Look at the newsgroups line and see how many groups the post is
posted to, specifically look for one the newsgroups
alt.syntax.tactical, alt.flame or alt.tasteless.
D) Continue to sit on your hands.
E) Look at the header to make sure that someone hasn't forged the e-
mail return address to get someone else in trouble. For help with the
header see :
Or look at how to track someone:
F) Stop sitting on your hands, but *Don't* reply to the post.
G) Read the alt.bigfoot FAQ :
H) Sit and think.
I) Read about the Gullibility Virus. This is a very funny editorial
to be passed along to your friends who send you all those hoaxes :
And see what the hoax e-mail subject lines are:
And why Disney is *not* giving away 13,000 free trips, why Bill Gates
is not collecting e-mail addresses (and many other hoaxes):
And Hoaxes on the Internet:
J) Whatever you do, DO NOT reply to the post.
K) Sit and think. Go clean that green stuff off the sides of your
fish tank like you have been meaning to do. Try to remember that the
Internet is not real life. It is not worth getting upset over. The
news group you are so involved in would forget that you exist if you
stop posting for 6 months (most likely even quicker). Real life goes
on with or without the Internet.
L) "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's
game because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be
indistinguishable from -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing
infinite amounts of free time." -Neal Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
M) Look at the original group creation file (not necessarily up to
Hopefully if you have done all these steps your blood pressure has
gone down a few points.
The above applies to *all* posts that are trolls. The post may only
be to one newsgroup, but none the less it is a troll to try & cause
problems in the newsgroup. DO NOT POST! It will only get more people
upset at you than at the original flamer.
If you feel like you *have* to post a message TRIM THE NEWSGROUPS!
Delete EVERY other newsgroups from the header except the group you are
posting to. If you cannot delete the excess newsgroups, please do
everybody a favor and don't post.
First off (as you might have guessed) DO NOT post a message to your
newsgroup to *anybody* who is trolling for a reply. It will only
clutter up your newsgroup and get everybody else upset at *you* for
Raffaele does mention, however, there are groups where some regs
encourage to do exactly the opposite of the golden rule, and even
accuse of cowardice those who don't scream and yell when a suspected
troll enters the group.
Bottom line, as always, read the FAQ for that particular group.
Remember, Google is your friend. Go to
http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search and type in the e-mail
of the poster in the field "with the exact phrase", click on "Google
Search". This will tell you the tendencies of the poster and may give
a clue as to their proclivities. If they post to alt.flame, then you
know how they operate.
If the message has been posted thru a anonymous remailer then you
should just contact the remailer. Unfortunately this only causes more
problems for the ability to post anonymous messages (an important
freedom of speech resource that should not be destroyed). The E-mail
address has probably been forged. To find out about remailers, see:
For a list of them see :
Fravia refers us to the new "enemy" and enemy-related sections:
If you feel like you have to do *something*, then you should contact
the person who posted the message. PLEASE send a *nice* message and
ask them why they did this. Remember, the e-mail is *very* easy to
forge and the troll may have been posted only to get someone else in
trouble. Another item to consider is that the person may be a net
newbie. They may not *know* that they are starting a flame war or
making posts that look like trolls. They *may* be sincere about their
posts and just need some guidance. Help them, please.
If you get a nasty reply (or no reply and the posts continue), then
your next option is to send a message to the persons postmaster. See
the above spamfaq URL for how to figure out what postmaster to send
your message to.
Andrew reminds us:
1. Keep it simple, keep it short. Postmasters are amazingly busy
2. Be polite. It's not the postmaster you're cheesed off at.
3. Make sure you include the full headers so the postmaster has the
all-important Message-ID tag to track the troll. Export the message to
a text file and paste it back in if you need to.
4. Thank the postmaster for his/her efforts at the end. Gratitude
before the fact will help spur the postmaster to effort on your
5. Be patient. It may take the postmaster a few days or a few gripes
to act. Don't repost the same gripe multiple times. New gripes,
however, are permissible.
6. If the troll becomes harassing and/or actionable and you can
identify the site from the headers, call the postmaster. LD charges
may be worth it. Follow the preceding rules for the phone call. Be
polite, be brief, and thank the person for their efforts. One call is
usually all it takes.
Example gripe :
Please find attached the headers and body text of a harassing message
posted to <Your Newsgroup>. As the message originated at your site,
I'd like to request your assistance in explaining to the offending
user the rules of online etiquette. Thank you for your time.
Most newsreaders support a killfile. A killfile tells your newsreader
to "ignore" certain posts or posters. The beauty is that you never
have to see a message from "X" again, or about subject "X" again.
Adding posts to killfiles :
If you are a News Administrator (or you know one), you can filter out
A.S.T posts (thereby also stopping the propagation of these same
posts). Look at :
List of anti-spam software:
Some of the software:
If you follow all of the above steps, you will be happier, but most
importantly Usenet will be happier for having less bandwidth abused.
Welcome to the Troll FAQ.
A description of the alt.syntax.tactical crew (and lesser trolls)
You will find a description of the AST crew below, but first I must
mention the lesser groups that inhabit the Internet. From the group
alt.games.creatures we find a group of trolls that (as many trolls do)
try to make it seem that they are the purveyors of the truth ...
everybody else is wronging them.
See http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/6042/index.html (Well, it
*was* there :-) ... I figured it would disappear so I kept a copy
Where we find THE AVENGER SQUADRON
The terrorists on AGC have opened a Pandora's box of terrorism. We
intend to neutralize that box and close it once and for all, without
breaking any laws.
"Fear is a powerful and dangerous thing." -A quote.
We will stop them, without breaking the law.
We are the defenders of justice and peace and we will fight to protect
innocent people from the savage violence and hatred on AGC that exists
because it was formerly overrun with terrorists. We have successfully
ridden it of several hate-mongering persons and groups, and continue
to do whatever we can to uphold freedom and peace.
Those guilty of violations have accused us of trickery, lies, and
forgery. This is not the case. We have never lied. We only make
legitimate complaints that truly violate Terms of Service Agreements.
Those who wrongly accuse us of these things are no doubt guilty of
violations themselves and wish to rid themselves of us so that they
can continue their inappropriate activities and get away with them.
They will not succeed in trying to destroy us. We are here to stay.
Isn't that just the CUTEST thing :-) ...
The rest of this AST FAQ is here for historical purposes only. Below
we find the sad description of the AST crew and a copy of their
invasion FAQ. Everything below this down to my .sig has not been
updated (and will not be updated) since the troll FAQ was created in
early 1996. Jonathan tells me that the *original* AST FAQ was written
in 1994. See:
trobe.edu.au - All About Alt.Syntax.Tactical (or, Know Your Jerk)
Victor wrote a description about the alt.syntactical wrecking crew.
Below is his post. The section "The alt.syntax.tactical FAQ - Know
your opponents" contains the tactics used by the AST crew to disrupt
any USENET group.
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 11:52:38 MST
Welcome to the All About alt.syntax.tactical FAQ
(or, Know Your Jerk)
*Sigh*. A fresh batch of shitheads have arrived. I do applaud everyone
for ignoring them. However newbies are advised to read the following.
-- What is this FAQ about? --
This FAQ is for new users who enter the wonderful world of Internet
only to be disappointed by stumbling upon gigabytes of stupidity and
old timers who know that idiots tend to hang around in groups. The
subject here are a bunch of infantile losers known as -
A.s.t can claim the dubious honor of being the only group that even
alt.flame can look down upon.
-- Why do they do this? --
Beats me. Seems like an awful lot of boring, repetitive rote work with
the only reward being regarded as an electronic cockroach plague by
the rest of the net community.
-- How do I recognize an alt.syntax.tactical post in general? --
- Cross posting to a large number of groups. Attention seeking
- The "flogging a dead horse" syndrome. Taking topics that have been
done to death and rehashing them. In this case, trying to start
another alt.tasteless/rec.pets.cats flame-war (ho-hum). This is likely
due to the article detailing the original flame-war appearing in WiReD
magazine, so probably seeking attention again.
- General lack of interest, humor and a lame attempt to be offensive,
like crossposting to rec.pets.cats, the two K12 groups and
Other general characteristics -
- a.s.t posters are in the habit of following up there own articles if
the original was (wisely) ignored.
- reposting complete articles or flame/counter flames with one line
comments, thus maximizing bulk.
- endless flame/counter-flames between the various a.s.t invasion wave
members when the real newsgroup members(wisely) ignore them.
As a rule of thumb, if it is boring, pointless and inane, you can bank
on it being from a.s.t.
-- What can I do about stupid a.s.t posts? --
The golden rule is ignore. If someone farts in a room, the smell will
eventually go away. Likewise, if a.s.t is largely ignored, they too
will go away.
Resist all urges to reply. You'll be bashing your head against a brick
wall and only giving them satisfaction. Learn to use your kill-file,
ask someone you know how if you don't know. The more hi-tech among you
may want to track them down and extract whatever electronic revenge
-- Where do a.s.t reside, usually? --
There originally was an a.s.t group, and it still gets used
occasionally. Mostly, they hang out in alt.bigfoot, which was
probably originally a Sasquatch interest group which they invaded and
decided to keep, and in alt.flame.
-- Who are the members of a.s.t? --
(Note : These people haven't posted in a long time, so this is an old
OK, here is the listing. If any body has any other addresses, e-mail,
and we'll add them.
Name and/or handle Address
Robert Trent firstname.lastname@example.org
Supreme commander email@example.com
Shafik Harmoni firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Antebi email@example.com
Ron Shmet firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Dew sdew.nyx.du.edu
Wild Bill email@example.com
Bill Travis firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Weber email@example.com
Lisa Park Yzer-GOD firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kordic email@example.com
Plus an ever changing variety of others. As has come to pass, it isn't
even necessary to know the above idiots, though they are the most
predominant and have popped up in a.t several times this year.
A.s.t has matured with time to be just another generic term for
bandwidth wasting shit-heads.
The alt.syntax.tactical FAQ - Know your opponents
Here's some relevant source material, obtained from one of the
members, the "real" FAQ of AST, a somewhat less serious one, and one
distributed -about- AST.
The Invasion FAQ of A.S.T.
Although not exactly a FAQ, this file is more of an explanation of why
alt.syntax.tactical and the tactical-list were created. It also lays
down the foundation for the structure, strategy, and protocol of
* Invasion *
Each of us brings our own reasons, backgrounds and motivations into
this scheme. What is important is that each individual brings into
this their own brand of inspired mischief. In some ways it is
completely innocent. In some ways it is completely destructive.
Anyone can walk into alt.sex and post that pornography should be
banned. Anyone can walk into rec.sport.baseball and say "baseball
sucks". It takes unbelievable skill and discipline to cause a
PROLONGED flame war. That is what we do. But it can only be done with
talent, and numbers to match that talent. We only bring into the fold
people who have the knack to use smarts to incite chaos, not stupidity
to incite being ignored when people see a post and know what you're up
To keep things running smoothly, Antebi is our 'moderator'. jpdavid
was responsible for creating the mailing-list and setting up the
initial newsgroup. Everyone is equal in suggesting and voting on
invasion sites and other basic day-to-day workings of the group.
Everyone here gains or loses merit only in the invasion arena.
* Waves of Invasion *
Flames and wars between groups are as old as Usenet. What we try to do
is in many ways fundamentally different from what is or has been done
in this area.
After picking a site, we call for an invasion on that site. There are
a number of phases to an invasion. Each person can volunteer for which
wave they want to be in, but more times than not, it is a first come-
first served policy. It is always important that no one jump the gun
and go in before we have time to prepare and bounce ideas off each
other. It's also important that people don't switch waves without
letting everyone know. Flexibility is the key, as is communication.
Typically, we use between two and five Waves of attack. Waves will
generally break down into this kind of structure:
a: Reconnaissance (RECON): These people will go in early and usually
set up camp as "friends of the newsgroup". They will become trusted
and participate by joining previous discussions or starting non-
controversial ones themselves. They will also act as "double-agents"
to counter-flame the other waves as the invasion progresses. They key
is building a bit of credibility.
b: Wave One: Wave one will usually be what starts the flame war.
Those involved in this wave can go on and each have a different flame,
or go on and flame in unison. They can bring in a subject of their
own or flame a previous discussion. What matters is that this initial
wave will be the one that the invaded newsgroup will have their
attention on. This wave calls for extreme subtlety. The quality of the
flame MUST be at its highest point here.
c: Wave Two: Wave Two will consist of tactics to attack the people
who were sent in as recon and attempt to start totally new flame
threads. The key here is that even if we attack a group of people
restrained enough to resist our flame-bait, wave two will stir things
up and get others to join in.
d: Wave Three: Wave three will generally change depending on the
campaign, but will generally be added to push the confusion and chaos
over the top. Flame the recon, flame the first wave, flame the second
wave. These guys are our balls out, rude SOB's. Mop up and clean out.
Sometimes (usually with bigger groups) Wave three will simply be along
the lines of a wave two. We will call for a wave four (or five) to be
the balls out routine. We will sometimes add a wave or two because
depending on the size and intelligence of a newsgroup.
There are three other things that we typically use, depending on
the sophistication of the invasion.
LOOSE CANNONS are people who come in and act so strange and obtuse
that it makes the rest of the flames look genuine.
THE ANON SERVICE can be used to send posts anonymously. This is a good
way to post and pretend to be scared of retribution. Only problem is
that this is usually the first sign that a post is a flame, so it
should only be used with a TREMENDOUS amount of DISCRETION.
CROSS POSTING is also a popular method of choice by other flame
groups, so it is important to Cross Post with discretion. If we can
cross post to bring in other newsgroups to unwittingly assist us,
perfect. If we cross post to suspicious newsgroups, our intentions
will be obvious.
* Victory *
Ideally, signs of victory are the following:
o Our names appear in killfiles
o Majority or ALL threads in invaded newsgroup were started by us
o Regulars/legit people abandon invaded newsgroup
o Receive much hate mail - as does our SysAdmin
o To be reprimanded by the glorious SysAdmin
* Notes *
Most important is the need to be SUBTLE when it is required. One
misplaced post can ruin it for the rest of us. Those of you who have
participated in widespread flame wars know the feeling of having a
newsgroup going for a long time, then someone posts an obvious flame
or something so far out of context, that everyone says to just ignore
the flames, which eventually includes all of us. Blowing a flame war
will occasionally happen, but if it could have been avoided with a
little thinking, then it's not as excusable.
We've got to share duties. Everyone should get practice playing
different roles and different waves.
It has been assumed that if you don't want to participate, fine. No
one will hold it against you. What is expected is that if you don't
want to participate you don't have to, but that also means that you
wont go warning that newsgroup when an invasion happens. You will
close your eyes and turn a blind eye. NO NEWSGROUP IS OFF LIMITS!!!!!!
Another thing many people seem to be talking about are SIGS AND NAMES.
Try to take on appropriate names. If you are on alt.rap, D.J. Trouble
is not going to stir things up...if you show up on soc.culture.physics
with that name, you're caught before your first word of text. If a Sig
is going to blow your cover, lose it.
- under construction -
ALT.SYNTAX.TACTICAL: The FAQ
Table of Contents:
A> Introduction to alt.syntax.tactical
B> Questions Frequently Asked
00> What is tactical syntax?
01> What do those long words mean?
02> What do you get when you put those words into an alt newsgroup?
03> Why is tactical syntax important to us?
04> What kinds of topics will be discussed on a.s.t?
05> Have certain ethnic groups or women as a gender been biased by
06> What languages make the best and worst use of syntax?
07> What are some of the hidden secrets of syntax?
08> How and why has syntax changed over the years?
09> Can studing[sic] other types of languages (sign, Braille, etc.)
help us understand our own tactical syntax?
10> In case of emergency, who should we contact?
11> What other newsgroups might I find interesting?
12> Who is out to get us?
13> Who is an a.s.t approved author?
14> What is the Tertiary Syntactical Cycle?
15> Is there any Television syntax?
16> Who is the current caretaker of the newsgroup?
A> Introduction to alt.syntax.tactical
Welcome to the FAQ for alt.syntax.tactical. It was founded for the
purpose of offering an oasis to those seeking intensive and concrete
forum to discuss issues surrounding the mystique of "tactical syntax"
or "strategic sentencing". We also like to play with 'magick' and the
intrinsic tactical-syntax needed to sucker the post-D&D crowd.
B> Frequently asked questions
0> What is tactical syntax?
It is structure, and structure is meaning. That is the point of this
newsgroup. Part of the tactics is to steal language back from the
academics who would have us believe that the real meaning of language
can only be found in areas which can be understood only by them, not
by "the rest of us".
1> What do those long words mean?
tactical = An expedient for achieving an end. The science of using
strategy to gain military objectives. Skillful maneuvering to achieve
syntax = The way in which words are put together to form sentences,
clauses and phrases.
2> What do you get when you put those words into an alt newsgroup?
Alt.syntax.tactical is dedicated to serving those who are both
attracted to and repulsed by the myriad of options regarding the
structure, logistics, ethics and morality of
sentences/clauses/phrases. This group will NOT debate grammar in it's
intrinsic form, nor debate the correct and incorrect forms of
spelling. Words, isolated. mean nothing to us. Words, tactfully
arranged, mean everything. alt.syntax.tactical will attempt to present
itself as a forum for those searching for better ways to communicate
through utilizing the ultimate good deeds of others through both
debate and causal/friendly suggestion. Alt.syntax.tactical should
function as a freeform information branch to get a better grasp of how
and why syntax makes an impact on not just our own lives, but the
lives of our nuclear families and human civilization as well.
3> Why is tactical syntax important to us?
The great debate of our century has been how the great personalities
of our time have worked their communicative "magic". One might ask if
the British would have survived without the brilliant syntax of
Winston Churchill. Or one might ask is the Nazi's would have even
been given a blinking chance to create the Third Reich without the
brilliant, albeit malevolent, syntax of Adolf Hitler. What makes good
syntax? We find that the more tactical the syntax is the better that
To understand the importance of syntax in the Modern, flame Postmodern
and Macromoderno age, it is essential to acknowledge the contribution
of semantics and language mechanics. We must understand the contrived
and manipulative effects of social/political/interpersonal propaganda.
Can syntax help you get a discount when purchasing items in a retail
store? Can syntax make or break an international peace treaty? What
is the subjective bias of syntax relative to the teeming population of
mass humanity and objective reality.
4> What kinds of topics will be discussed on a.s.t?
* The Psychology of Syntax.
* Verbal and Non-Verbal gestures and their effect on Syntax.
* Syntax under the manipulative effect of hypnosis.
* Dyslexia/Schizophrenia and Syntax
* Syntax under the effects of drugs and alcohol
* The Syntax of Slang
* Situational Syntax
* The History and Development of North American Syntax
* Sex, Syntax and the 90's
* Violence and the Syntax dialectic
* Syntax and propaganda in Cold War Russia
5> Have certain ethnic groups or women as a gender been biased by
Yes. Within the Specific and General domains of syntax, language and
diction have been used by various factions of meta-institutions to
support the downsizing and exploitation of women and members of ethnic
6> What languages make the best and worst use of syntax?
Typically, languages with larger vocabularies (Romance) lend
themselves to more tactical approaches to diction than languages with
smaller vocabularies (i.e. Serubian).
7> What are some of the hidden secrets of syntax?
Join the Newsgroup and find out. We will tell you. Hint: It has
nothing to do with dolphin squeaks.
8> How and why has syntax changed over the years?
As fluid as a river in the desert, syntax has flowed with change.
Change is a natural evolution from the sea to the trees, the question
is not so much how and why, but when and how.
9> Can studing other types of languages (sign, Braille, etc.) help us
understand our own tactical syntax?
Of course it can. But for the most part, we only care about English.
Although, we would like to learn to swear in other languages. Look out
for the alt.syntax.tactical 'Insulting Foreigners' FAQ coming to a.s.t
10> In case of emergency, who should we contact?
Please post your problem first, but in case of emergency, you can e-
mail to VICE-PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV
11> What other newsgroups might I find interesting?
Other a.s.t recommended newsgroups include:
12> Who is out to get us?
The professionals who want to reduce language to:
(1) semantics (that is, little tiny bits which can only be studied
with an electron microscope), or
(2) "deep" structures which can only be studied by psycho-bio-physio-
13> Who is an a.s.t approved author?
Thomas Hardy - In the examination of the uses of Syntactical Fiction
as a means to brainwash an unyielding public, one of the nineteenth
century authors who best personifies this effort is Thomas Hardy,
specifically in his novel, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" in which he
presents moral dilemmas at an astounding rate and everything runs in
intense cycles of threes. There is not a single aspect of the book
that does not contain this Tertiary Syntactical Cycle<TSC>.
14> What is the Tertiary Syntactical Cycle?
TSC is probably the most powerful and oft used tactic in the attack on
unsuspecting minds. Take comedians: All comics tell a joke a maximum
of three times. The will get a bigger and better laugh the second and
third telling. No competent comic will say a joke a fourth time.
This is a violation of TSC and is not to be tolerated. TSC is also the
reason that Hollywood produces Trilogies. The Lord of the Rings is
perfect in its trimetry. There is a purpose behind TSC and we must
all see and use this tactic as a matter of common rule and not as an
optional choice. We have no Optional Choices!
15> Is there any television syntax?
That to which you refer actually has its basis in the code written
circa 1938 by Dr. Y. Cournoyer of McGill University. In the preface to
the Canadian Royal Syntactical Performance Methodology Code, Dr.
"Subversion through the syntactical methodology of oratological mind
control must be closely supervised and regulated. Patterns of words
transmitted non-personally can have a tremendous impact on a man's
[sic] panic centers"
The good doctor had studied this effect of radio broadcasts among
small populations in northern New Brunswick, and, luckily for us, had
anticipated the mass visual medium of television. The code, first
adopted by the CRTC and followed by the American FCC, prohibits the
broadcast of certain syllabic and phonemic patterns, and sets a syntax
standard adopted all over God's Green Earth.
16> Who is the current caretaker?
We let Teagi keep the group alive, and promote distribution. If your
site doesn't carry it, let them know you want it!
C> Again, welcome to alt.syntax.tactical. We hope you join us in our
discussions and learn. please use the knowledge acquired for good, not
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards for they are subtle and
quick to anger.
Ken Hollis - Gandalf The White - firstname.lastname@example.org - O- TINLC
WWW Page - http://gandalf.home.digital.net/
Trace E-Mail forgery - http://gandalf.home.digital.net/spamfaq.html
Trolls crossposts - http://gandalf.home.digital.net/trollfaq.html