I don't like asking for help on mailing lists. I have nothing against lists in general, I subscribe to several that fill up my inbox hourly, and I try to respond as often as I can, but what annoys me the most is when people ask a simple question and they're bombarded by "RTFM", or Read the F*#!ing Manual for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym. What's the point in that?

I can't imagine what I would do if my daughter was in kindergarten and asked the teacher "How do you spell xylophone?" and the teach responded "Well dear, why don't you go look it up in the F*#!ing Dictionary?". You'd have parents demanding the resignation of the teacher for improper conduct. And there shouldn't be a difference on mailing lists.

As a professional, you, I and we need to understand that new users will ask common and often obvious questions, and even the best of us sometimes have a bad day and forget the obvious. Neither case should be treated with confrontation or belittlement. People are trying to learn here, so if you feel the need to respond, offer a constructive suggestion rather than trying to make yourself feel bigger by making others feel like idiots. Half the time it just invokes a flamewar anyways and just wastes everyone's time.

The post ‘RTFM? - WTF!’ was first published by Jeffrey Sambells on