et i quette
the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
Usenet is a big place, which has been going for a long time, and it involves a lot of people. There are on the order of thirty thousand newsgroups and more are added daily. Topics of discussion touch on ... well, pretty much everything. At a conservative estimate, over 10 million words are exchanged every day. Usenet is a place where people socialize, exchange opinions, and argue.
Because Usenet is a mix of such diverse people and opinions, users and administrators must be exercise tolerance and restraint. It is also a text medium where it is easy to misunderstand or misinterpret people's words and intentions.
So etiquette is important: good etiquette helps smooth out social interaction.
No one is asking you to be superhuman, but there is a need to understand the social rules which surround the technology of Usenet.
There are many fines guides on the subject. The Usenet Frequently Asked Questions lists from the newsgroup news.answers
are a good place to start. You can access these via FTP from MIT:
Our newsgroups are located at:news.ud.net