........Welcome to the

Enter the seminar rooms by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page after you read this.

Before you enter, read these rules.  They were developed as a way of developing "cyber body language."  Without body language, communication in a chat room can become chaotic and incoherent.  These rules are subject to amendment, but I want you to try them first.

I.  The Rule of Ellipsis
The "rule of ellipsis" was developed by our students the past several summers to avoid the chaos that can ensue if student postings in the chat room are not chronologically related.  That happens because of the wide range of typing skills and length of statements that students may want to post. The "rule of ellipsis" has two parts:

1.  When you are going to post something that is more than a few words, post in phrases followed by an ellipsis (...).  For example:

I think that the idea...
that the right to free speech is not absolute...
became part of First Amendment jurisprudence...
when Justice Holmes said that no one...
can claim the right to falsely shout...
"Fire!" in a crowded theatre.

2.  When someone has posted a phrase with an ellipsis, you may not post anything until that person has finished and you see a period.

3.  If, in your zeal to say something, you are composing a statement in your text box while someone is posting phrases with ellipses, you may not post your statement if it is no longer relevant or if what you have to say does not flow logically from the previous posting And remember that "rule of ellipsis" #1 above applies to all postings.

II.  Rules for Other Cyber "Body Language"
When you seminar in person, you are able to read someone's body language that says that she or he wants to say something.  In the virtual seminar, that body language can be expressed as follows:
When you want to interject something immediately, type only an ellipsis (...) and post it.  You now have the floor.

When you want to ask someone to clarify something, type a question mark and an ellipsis (?...) and post.  Then ask your question.

If the subject is being changed and you still have something to interject, you may "interrupt" as you would in person (one of the few times that interruption is permissible in a seminar).  In person you would say something like, "Pardon me for interrupting, but before you transition to something else I have something else that I want to add to the discussion at this point."  The virtual seminar equivalent would be to type 4-5 periods (.....) or slashes (/////) and post them immediately. The discussion leader should then recognize you.

III.  Cyber Chat Acronyms
As you probably know, a new acronimic language is developing in cyber space. However, in our seminars you don't want to use so many acronyms that others need a cyberchat dictionary to figure out your "foreign" language.  Although acronyms can save time, people can get carried away using too many of them. Literally hundreds of acronyms have been developed for chat rooms.  Below is a list of a few that may be useful for us.  Whether to use these at all or to add others will be through class consensus.

BTA:  but then again
BTW:  by the way
FAQ:  frequently asked questions
FYI:  for your information
GA:  go ahead
HTH:  hope this helps
IAC:  in any case
IC:  I see
IMO:  in my opinion
IOW:  in other words
OTOH:  on the other hand