The House Rules
In order to ensure that everyone feels comfortable on this board, we ask you to behave according to the following set of rules.
1. First and foremost: No flaming. In some places on the net, it's apparently considered acceptable to resort to insults and name-calling at the slightest provocation, but this board isn't one of them. This doesn't mean you aren't allowed to disagree with people, of course. You do have the right to criticize other people's posts, as long as the criticism is constructive and aimed only at the content - but as soon as you start attacking them personally, you're crossing the line.
And by the way, this also applies when talking about people who aren't members of this board. Don't come here to complain about how your neighbor, some random dude from another forum, or George W. Bush, is an idiot. Once again, no ad hominem; criticism is fine - although if the person you're talking about is in absolutely no way relevant here, then we do generally recommend that you take it somewhere else, no matter how well-founded and constructive it is.
2. Somewhat related to the above, don't bite the newbies. Just because someone knows less about languages or linguistics (or anything, really) than you do does not give you an excuse to be rude to them. We do not have any minimum standard of linguistic knowledge required for membership on this board, so don't make it look like we did.
Of course, it's okay to point it out when people make mistakes; that's how they learn (hopefully). But try to do it politely. And be specific; tell them exactly what they're doing wrong. General dismissive comments along the lines of "come back when you've learned more" are not very helpful, and are likely to be taken badly even if you don't mean them that way.
3. Don't put words in other people's mouths. Or thoughts in their heads. Occasional misunderstandings are inevitable in all human communication, and especially on the internet - but you can reduce the chances of them happening by trying to stick to responding to what people have actually said. Don't make further extrapolations on what someone "really" means or why they're saying what they are, not to mention broader generalizations on what kind of person they are. It's extremely rude and, at least unless you have a degree in psychology, very likely to go wrong. And by the way, this includes extrapolations made based on things like someone's gender, religion, ethnicity, etc.
4. No spamming/flooding. Occasional jokes or otherwise more or less pointless posts and even threads (preferably in the Everything Else forum unless there's a good reason to post them somewhere else) are fine, but try not to let them get in the way of actual discussion. Don't make posts just for the sake of making posts. And especially, don't create threads just for the sake of creating threads; a large number of frivolous threads has a nasty cluttering effect on a forum and makes it harder for people to spot the more interesting ones. This includes the creation of "game" threads which invole posting or changing a only single word or less. And even if you have important things to say, combining as much stuff into one thread as possible is usually better than posting several new threads in the same forum at once.
Also, expressing your views on matters once in a discussion should be enough. If people disagree with your point, then discuss the matter (or just quietly back off if that's what you prefer), but don't keep repeating the same point over and over again and expect it to somehow become more valid. If you feel you're being ignored, you can of course refer to what you said earlier - but if people still keep ignoring you, it's probably best for everyone if you just ignore them back.
In addition, with the exception of posting book recommendations or links to websites on topics related to languages, linguistics, conlangs and conworlds, commercial advertisements of any kind don't belong here.
5. No trolling. As a general rule, do not post things that you know are going to offend, annoy or otherwise provoke other people. Sometimes there may be a good reason that justifies posting something provocative, but in such a case, provide an explanation for why you're doing so and be prepared for a debate to defend your position.
Note that this includes controversial or extraordinary claims and opinions. Repeatedly posting these without providing evidence and proper argumentation to back them up will be considered trolling.
6. Do not lie. Most importantly, don't post information you know to be false to play a practical joke on the newbies, don't pretend to be someone you aren't, and, no matter what you do, never take credit for other people's work.
For emphasis, sockpuppeting with multiple accounts is strictly forbidden and may result in the banning of both or all accounts.
7. Avoid religious topics. Unless you're discussing conreligions and similar, please do not initiate discussions or debates abour real world religious matters. We've had bad experience with this in the past.
8. It is under no circumstances permitted to misuse rank images, the beginners' mentors banner or the admin-tags. Doing so will be penalized on sight.
In addition to these general rules, some forums also have their own forum-specific guidelines (found in a sticky topic at the top of each forum that does). Be sure to familiarize yourself with those as well.
What to do if someone breaks the rules?
1. If it's a mild case, you might try ignoring it at first. Someone might just have been having a bad day, or the whole thing could be a misunderstanding, or something.
2. In the case of more blatant and/or repeated offenses, the first thing to do is to tell the offender that they're violating the house rules, and perhaps give them a link to this thread. But don't be a jerk about it yourself; "he started it" is not an excuse for breaking the rules on this board.
Also, don't take this to mean that you should jump on someone and start quoting the rules every time you think you've perceived some slight transgression. That kind of behavior is itself disrupting, and likely to do more harm than good. You can use some common sense here; if there is no actual conflict taking place yet, then it might be best not to create one by beating people over the head with the rulebook. If you're unsure, you can always PM the admin or one of the mods.
3. You can also PM the admin or a moderator if neither of the above appears to be working, or if you just don't feel like confronting the offender directly.
What to do if you're accused of breaking a rule?
1. Whatever it is you're doing, stop. Failure to do this may, especially if the offense you're accused of is serious enough, result in first a formal warning and then, if that's not enough, a temporary or permanent ban.
2. Do not lash out against whoever's accusing you. Even if you think the accusation is unfair, you're not going to help your situation with whining, counterattacks or (passive-)agressive complaints about other people. You're allowed to defend yourself, of course, but please try to explain your view on the situation as calmly, politely, and thoroughly as you can. Otherwise, you may risk making things worse.
This also goes for immediately accusing someone else of something you were just doing yourself. This can very easily end up looking insincere and quite possibly like an attempt at getting back at your accuser. In cases of blatant hypocrisy, you're allowed to point it out, but don't try to pretend that you're now actually offended by something you were just doing yourself.
_________________Ikasmu ati'uki nai uraiur.
Hinai nimuśim naimi nai sasamiur urukani. Śi'ama nai huhumiur na ni'amuśim nai sasamiur.
Pumaki nimuśim śima'a na ami nimuśim ara'a. Hini nihrasum i'aku tumra urukani na nihrasum sanik hraspir.