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Nordic FAQ - 1 of 7 - INTRODUCTION

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A Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) file for the newsgroup
S O C . C U L T U R E . N O R D I C

An ASCII map of Scandinavia
So what's this FAQ thing anyway?
A notice to spaghetti publishers
What are FAQs?
Who are the net.gods and goddesses of s.c.n?
Why are all the names and stuff garbled? - about
the Nordic alphabets
What should I know about copyright laws and the
Welcome to soc.culture.nordic!
What sort of a group is s.c.n?
What's all this flaming about?
Well, are there any positive things about this
Whatever you say. So, what sort of postings are
o.k. in here?
What about cross-posting?
What languages are welcome in
What should I do when someone posts a flamebait?
I have this bridge in Stavanger that I'd like to
Looking for a Nordic girl-friend?
- How do I say [ ... ] in your language ?
Contacts through the Net
Complaining to a person's postmaster - how, when
and why?
The soc.culture.nordic drinking game!
Which are the related newsgrops? ...
... in international hierarchies?
... in Nordic hierarchies?
@ What about mailing lists?
What are the Nordic Graphemes?
How are these represented in Usenet postings and
Pros and cons of the different representations.
How do I set up support for 7-bit ISO-646
({|}, [\])
How do I set up support for 8-bit ISO-8859-1
(..., ...)
About measures and figures
Why is it advisable to use the metric system in
How long is a Nordic mile?
A warning about decimal commas and delimiters
All XXXs are YYY, ain't that so?

Subject: 1.1 An ASCII map of Scandinavia

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
   Well, if you can't recognise your own country/province/suburb/house on
   the map (Iceland is tricky!), blame the American Standard Code for
   Information Interchange, not me. :-)

| ***       **    |                                                         |
|****  *********  |                      ARCTIC SEA       Nordkapp          |
|  *****ICELAND** |                                     ////                |
|   R************ |                            //   //////////++++++        |
|  *************  |                           /  //////////////+++++++++++  |
|    ********     |                       L// ///////////####/++++++++++++++|
+-----------------+                      //  ////..###///####+++++++++++++++|
|                                          ////:::::###########+++++++++++++|
|                                        ///.:::::::::##########++++    ++++|
|     ATLANTIC SEA                    /////::::::::::::########++++++       |
|                                    ////::::::::::::::#########+++++++     |
|   %                              /////::::::::::::::  ########++++++++++++|
|  F% %                           /////:::::::::::::   ###########++++++++++|
|                              ///////.:::::::::::    #############+++++++++|
|                           //////////:::::::::::   ###############+++++++++|
|                         ///////////:::::::::     #####FINLAND####+++++++++|
| Capital cities:         ///NORWAY//:::::::::     ###############+(Russia)+|
|                         //////////::::::::::.    ##############+++++++++++|
| C = Copenhagen          ////////O:::::::::::::    ##########++++   +++++++|
| H = Helsinki             /////// ::::SWEDEN:::: #A  ###H       +++++++++++|
| O = Oslo                 /////    ::::::::::S:           +++++++++++++++++|
| R = Reykjavik    NORTH            ::::::::::      + ++++++++++++++++++++++|
| S = Stockholm     SEA       %      :::::::: .:   ++ +++++(Estonia)++++++++|
|                           %%%      :::::::  :G        ++++++++++++++++++++|
|             DENMARK -->  %%%%%  %%% :::          ++   ++++++++++++++++++++|
| Islands:                 %%%%  %%%C     BALTIC  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++|
|                           %%%        B%  SEA    ++++(Latvia)++++++++++++++|
| L = Lofoten Isl.          ++++                 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++|
| B = Bornholm              +++++++    ++++++  +++++(Lithuania)+++++++++++++|
| F = Faroe Isl.  ++++  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++|
| G = Gotland    ++++++++++++++++++++++++(Poland)+++++++++++++++++++++++++++|
| A = Aland    +++++++++++++(Germany)+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++|
|             ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++|


Subject: 1.2 So what's this FAQ thing anyway? This is the so called Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) file for the Usenet newsgroup soc .culture .nordic. Its purpose is to introduce new readers to the group, provide some general information about the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) and to cover some of the topics frequently discussed in the group. It is organized in seven parts, this introduction and then one part each covering Norden in general, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Since the texts have grown rather extensive, these parts are posted to the news group, and to the soc.answers and news.answers groups, with rather long intervals. Then there are appendices. The appendices will be posted even less often, if at all. 1.2.1 A notice to spaghetti publishers A spaghetti publisher [n.] is one whose philosophy at publishing is to throw it to the wall and see if it sticks. Recently, they have been busy putting out badly written Internet books, often exploiting FAQs and other copyrighted material available in the net. Please realize that this FAQ is: Copyright 1994 & 1995 by Antti Lahelma 1996-1998 by Antti Lahelma & Johan Olofsson, all rights reserved. It may be freely distributed in impermanent, electronic media (the networks that form the Internet, Usenet & FidoNet), provided that the content is not edited and the URL (or From:-header) and Last-modified-date are included. Including it in a commercial collection or compilation (such as a CD-ROM), or publishing it or parts of it in printed form without the expressed, written permission of the author is illegal. The editors, author, and contributors do not assume any responsibility for errors or damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. 1.2.2 What are FAQs? "FAQ" is an acronym for "Frequently Answered Questions". (Or Frequently Asked Questions, some would say.) These are documents on various topics, forming a veritable library of free information, usually put together by voluntary enthusiasts in order to answer certain questions that constantly come up in some newsgroup (hence the name). They are periodically posted to their home newsgroups and (usually) to news.answers, and archived at numerous sites, some of which were listed above. There is no guarantee of the accuracy of the information, but usually they are reasonably reliable because of the "social control" of the newsgroup(s) in question. For more information on FAQs, where they are kept, why they are written, how to write one yourself, etc., see the "FAQ About FAQs" at <>. This FAQ, like many other soc.culture.*-FAQs, isn't really a proper list of frequently asked questions and their answers; it's more of a fact-file or an introduction brochure than a traditional Usenet FAQ, although some Q&A:s are included and hopefully more will be added in future. In some cases an author is noted for a portion of this FAQ. In other cases the text is compiled from several authors' contributions in the group. Intermediate forms occur. This has some detrimental consequences for the coherency of the faq - the good thing is that different Nordic opinions often get represented. The language in these articles is without doubt colored by the fact that almost all writers have other mother tongues than English - and so it will remain. Nevertheless: proposals for more idiomatic wordings are always cordially welcomed. Of course, since unlike most soc.culture.*-FAQs it -- instead of a single country & culture -- attempts to cover five, the articles can't go very deep or it's size will get simply too overwhelming. The self-evident exception is topics which has been very thoroughly discussed in the newsgroup. The s.c.nordic FAQ is still young (started by Antti Lahelma 24th of May 1994, the compilation was continued spring 1996 by Johan Olofsson), pretty much just a skeleton despite its size. It lacks much information that should be there, some of the more irrelevant parts may get deleted, corrections will be made, etc. It's not a finished product; FAQs aren't static. It'll get better with time, but your (yes, your) help is required; if you have anything in mind that could be added to the FAQ don't be shy to contact us (Antti Lahelma & Johan Olofsson), you don't have to be a pro or expert to write something. This is addressed especially to all you Norskies out there. :-) (A major part of the work to maintain the FAQ consists of tracking changed addresses to referred www-documents. Links to "personal" pages, i.e. to pages with a "~" in their url, have proved to be particularly prone to stop working after some time, why such links only exceptionally will be made.) All contributions, corrections and suggestions are warmly welcomed. Flames aren't. The latest version of the FAQ can be obtained at the world wide web at URL: <>. Other sites where the files can be obtained (however maybe not the very newest version - and without the few illustrations and extra tables of the www-version above - and maybe slightly distorted due to the conversion back and forth between html and normal text format?) are: in Europe: <> <> <> < dic/> in North America: <> <> <> <> <> in Asia: <> <> ...or by sending an e-mail request to your nearest mail-ftp service. 1.2.3 Who are the net-gods and goddesses of s.c.n? These are some of the people who have helped and provided material for the FAQ: The Unofficial Asgard of Soc.Culture.Nordic Ruth M. Sylte Antti Lahelma Jan Bhme Ahrvid Engholm Arne Kolstad Einar Indriason Kari Yli-Kuha Eugene Holman Jacob Sparre Andersen Halldr rnason Lars Aronsson Gunnar Blix Stan Brown Lee Choquette Gunnar Davsson Hiski Haapoja Mauri Haikola Malte Lewan Nils O. Monaghan Tor Slettnes Kurt Swanson Bjrn Vennstrm Big thanks to all of you. And apologies to anyone I may have forgotten. Special thanks to Jens Christian Madsen for providing a lot of help with the Danish part of the FAQ. In reality, of course, there's only one true Goddess, but that's another story... 1.2.4 Why are all the names and stuff garbled? The Nordic alphabets contain letters that aren't in the English alphabet and consequently may cause problems with viewing if your system hasn't been properly set. In this document, they are typed in the ISO-8859-1 multi-lingual 8-bit character set, also known as Latin-1, which is the most available of the 8-bit character set, and also the standard for hypertext HTML documents. If your system strips the 8th bit, they may appear for example as the letters {fedv}, which can be quite confusing, making e. g. some Nordic place-names appear different from what they should be. In case 8-bit characters don't show well on your screen, please consider testing another setup. Here's a short guide to the most common of the letters: letter description -+--+- -+--+--+--- 'a' diaeresis 'ae' written as a single letter 'o' diaeresis 'o' with a slash through it 'a' with a ring above it "eth"; a vertically mirrored '6' with a slash through the tail "thorn"; a 'p' with the vertical line extended above the loop There are capital letters also ============================== capital A-acute () capital A-ring () capital A-diaeresis () capital AE-ligature () capital eth () capital E-acute () capital I-acute () capital O-acute () capital O-slash () capital O-diaeresis () capital thorn () capital U-acute () capital Y-acute () ---> PLEASE NOTICE <--- If the above letters aren't displayed correctly, read the GRAPHEMES FAQ by Tor Slettnes on how to view them (in part 1.8 of this document, where also a direction to their pronunciation is included). The Latin-1 character set is commonly used in s.c.nordic and some other newsgroups; you will need it anyway in order to be able to properly follow them. In the future it will probably become the standard set all over the Internet. Setting it up is no big job, and you'll be in the forefront of progress if you do! :-) [ However, the Latin-6 (ISO-8859-10) character set would strictly speaking be more appropriate since it covers also letters neccessary for the Saami and Greenlandish languages. ] 1.2.5 What should I know about copyright laws and the Usenet? Don't worry, you don't have to wade through law books, but there are a few basic things it is good be aware of. First of all, all material posted to Usenet, no matter how irrelevant or unimportant it may seem, is automatically copyrighted unless it is unambiguously declared to be public domain. There does not have to be any kind of copyright notice, although a notice does strenghten the protection a bit, nor does there have to be financial interests involved. That the author posts it to the net (equivalent to publishing it in a newspaper) does not mean that he or she is giving it away for for anyone to use and exploit as they please. Most countries of the world have signed the Berne convention on which these principles are based, so there isn't very much variation in the legistlation from one country to another. There are, however, two doctrines that make possible e.g. quoting the material in your own article, reposting it, and most of the other standard Usenet procedures, without violating the poster's copyright: "fair use" and "implied license". Because there are few precedents, it isn't fully clear yet how these apply to Usenet, or if e.g. the possible implied license of net articles extends beyond the net; obviously, these laws weren't made with the internet in mind. But it seems obvious that if for example you wish to publish something posted to the net in printed form, you should contact the author first. Posting someone's private e-mail without permission, on the other hand, is not only immoral and a serious breach of netiquette, but is also less likely to be acceptable as fair use, and can hardly be considered as having implied license to publish. In addition to violating copyright, it can also get you in legal trouble over issues such as invasion of privacy and public defamamation. You can refer to someone's mail to you and you can summarize the content, but you should never post it without permission. Of course, these things are highly theoretical (at least so far) and you shouldn't expect to have to worry much about them. But it's a good thing to be aware of, should you e.g. make an enemy out of some notorious kook who could attempt to harass you with legal procedure. Such things have been known to happen. For more information e.g. on the fair use and implied license principles, read the Copyright FAQ by Terry Carroll, (available at <>), or the more compact FAQ called "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained" by Brad Templeton. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.3 Welcome to soc.culture.nordic! 1.3.1 What sort of a group is it? If you're interested in the Nordic countries, and don't like having your mailbox littered up with messages from various mailing-lists, soc.culture. nordic is probably the best choice for a discussion forum you will find in the whole Internet. It is far from being perfect, of course; but then, few Usenet newsgroups can be described by that particular adjective. You may find that discussions here are not always on as profound topics as you might have hoped for, that certain threads never really die even though every imaginable argument has been presented already hundreds of times, that these threads may, if they coincide, suffocate almost all other discussion in the newsgroup. You will find that there are hotheads who preach absurd gospels and cynics who perceive themselves as "net vets", considering it their divine right to flame newcomers who happen to ask the wrong questions, and that there is a good deal of US-bashing, Sweden-bashing, Norway-bashing and Finland-bashing (but curiously no Denmark-bashing :-), going on most of the time. If you've believed in the "official", idealized picture of harmonious Nordic friendship, you may be badly disappointed. We don't always act sensibly, we're not always nice to each other, we can be tedious, nit-picky, boring, annoying, quarrelsome, and in general quite stupid. Sometimes. But not most of the time, I think. Read on. One of the purposes of this FAQ is in fact to decrease the amount of flaming and the frequency of the same old threads; if you're a newcomer, please read through at least this part of the FAQ (the rest is up to your tastes), and you may be able to avoid some of the most common mistakes made by new SCNers (e.g. posting a flamy article condemning Norwegian whaling, or taking part in the never ending arguments about the position of the Finns and their language in Sweden. :) 1.3.2 What's all this flaming about? Sometimes the group may seem like a battle-ground, but don't be too alarmed by it. The Nordic countries are, in spite of everything, like a family; not a One Big Happy Family of Nations, no, just any old family with its small quarrels and fights. They just tend to grow out of proportion when we have no real problems or crises to fight about. There are no great feelings of hatred between the different nationalities, few historical traumas, our prejudices about each other are pretty harmless, and so forth. We might have some Big Brother or Little Brother complexes -- at least we like to accuse each other of suffering from them -- but mostly we just like to make some noise and get some attention. If the quarreling annoys you, don't hesitate to use your kill-file; it's simple! (If you don't know how it's done, check the "kill file FAQ" which used to be posted regularly to news.answers). Don't leap into heated discussion without seeing something of how it started. (It is common to have a second "wave" of people enter a flame war and rehash old issues, which annoys the original participants.) Not everyone is always saying what they mean. Some people use irony, which can be much more obvious from reading the context, than from a single post. If you're not sure, don't respond. Even as it is, however, s.c.n is in fact a very calm and flame-free newsgroup compared to many other groups in the soc.culture.* hierarchy, parts of which, unfortunately, have deteriorated into dark pits of rampant flamewars, hatred, and nationalism gone berserk. Among these, s.c.n is like an oasis of peace and harmony. 1.3.3 Well, are there any positive things about this group? Absolutely. After the possible initial shock :-), I think you will find many. For one thing, you will no doubt find that people in s.c.n are very helpful; post a question, and you're likely to get several long, detailed and well thought out replies that will answer everything you asked for, and probably also a whole lot of things you didn't ask for and weren't really even interested in. All five nationalities are well (some more, some less) represented by natives in this newsgroup, who have first-hand information on everything that goes on in their countries, things that news agencies won't tell you. There are many people who post valuable information on their own initiative, just to serve the group. Many of them also have a www home page, which you may want to visit. 1.3.4 Whatever you say. So, what sort of postings are o.k. in here? Despite all our helpfulness, please keep in mind that we're not walking encyclopaedias; you might take the trouble to check your local library before posting a very basic question to the group. Any tourist guide will probably answer the question "Hello, I'm coming to visit <name of country>, what should I go and see?" better than we will, and a tourist guide won't get annoyed with you if you happen to be the 23rd person to have asked the same question this week. If you ask for the answers to be emailed straight to you instead of being posted, bear in mind that the polite thing to do is to post a summary of the replies to the group if they might be of a general interest (of course, nothing prevents you from subscribing to the group, posting the question, following the group for as long replies are likely to be posted, and then unsubscribing). A quick "Hi, what's the meaning of life, the universe and everything? --Please email all replies to someone@somesite, thanks-and-bye" isn't going to get very a enthusiastic reception. To increase your chances of getting replies, try to be specific; explain your interests, and what exactly it is you would like to know. This applies to other types of questions as well (and after all, although questions about travelling are OK in soc.culture.nordic, this isn't a group; travelers might consider posting to instead, or checking out the archives at < avel_Archives/>. At the very least, read through the relevant parts of this FAQ and see if you can find an answer here. Try to save those questions for the group to which you know you won't be able to (easily) find an answer in the books. But take our answers with a decent grain of salt. Most likely, we'll say both yes, and no, and maybe, and I don't know, and buzz off, and... When you do post, please try to keep it somehow related to Nordic matters. Sure, the group is unmoderated, so no one can control what you write. And it's not like you have to force the discussion on Nordic tracks if it should digress into something else. But nevertheless, as the name of the group implies, this is a group for discussing Nordic culture in all its forms; not American abortion-laws, Bill Clinton or Jesus. Keep this in mind when you start a new thread. Please don't expect us to do your school research papers or other home-work for you; some newbies out there might be enthusiastic enough to dig the information for you, but most of us will just be annoyed and make fun of you. Also, if you're looking for 'gender-based penpals', be advised that you'll most likely become a center of amused or annoyed (depending on the day, but it'll be embarrassing to you anyway) attention and you'll probably be sorry that you didn't post your message to soc.penpals instead, where it belongs. :-) For more on this favourite s.c.n topic, see section 1.4. 1.3.5 What about cross-postings? If only possible, avoid them. They generate threads that immediately lose whatever connection to Nordic culture there may initially have been, and it's very difficult (read: impossible) to get the people in other newsgroups to remove s.c.n from their Newsgroups-lines. These threads have a life of their own and can go on and on for months until everyone in all the involved newsgroups is sick and tired of them, yet somehow they just keep continuing. If you want to post your message to several groups, an intelligent thing to do is to trim the Followup-to: header to direct replies to one group only. The headers of your article could look like this, for instance: Newsgroups: soc.culture.nordic,soc.culture.burma,soc.culture.kuwait Subject: What's foobar in your language? Followup-To: sci.lang Remember to mention in your post that the follow-ups have been redirected so that people will notice it (otherwise there'll always be those who don't). If you're cross-posting to only a couple of groups, you could also consider posting it as separate articles instead. Use your own judgment as to what's going to be the least annoying and/or bandwidth-consuming method. You should, of course, keep these things in mind when you post a follow-up to cross-posted thread. The article might be in place in soc.culture.nordic, but take a look at the Newsgroups-line anyway: does it contain newsgroups where the thread clearly does not belong to? If yes, simply remove them. If you feel it doesn't belong to s.c.n either, set a proper Followup-To: line to your reply. If you want to cross-post a request or start a new cross-posted thread read both newsgroups for a month or two (a year would be safer ;-) before doing so. Don't start cross-posted threads without more justification than the subject being "related" to both groups. You should understand the culture of both "electronic communities". Why this? It is much easier to be misunderstood, misunderstand the context, and generally get people unhappy with you if you start a cross-posted thread or follow-up to an article posted to two newsgroups. If you say something controversial or questionable, you can expect to get negative responses. If you cross-post and are new to one or both groups, you are more likely to offend someone unintentionally. This is not recommended as a pleasant way to introduce yourself, or to get answers to your questions. Threads posted to many unrelated newsgroups (with the rare exception of announcements), are often flame-baits and may deserve to be ignored. 1.3.6 What languages are welcome in soc.culture.nordic? English, naturally, is the most common choice, but threads in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Smi, Finnish, Icelandic and Faroese are all perfectly suitable for the newsgroup. A fact is, however, that such threads don't appear very frequently in s.c.n. There are several reasons for this. First of all, not all Nordic languages are mutually intelligible; while Danes, Norwegians and Swedes could discuss with each other with only some difficulty, many Icelanders and Finns would be left out of the discussion (even though all Finns and Icelanders have studied one obligatory Scandinavian language at school it doesn't mean they're necessarily fluent in it - nor that they understand the other langauges of Scandinavia as easily as the native speakers). A third group of people left out of the discussion would be, of course, the non-Nordics, who make up a large part of the readership of s.c.n. Therefore, threads in Nordic languages don't necessarily get very many readers. Nordics in general tend to be relatively fluent in English, so if the topic is of general interest, using a language that restricts the readership may seem slightly pointless. Another reason is, of course, that the soc.* hierarchy is international; there is no shortage of national hierarchies where all discussion takes place in the Nordic languages. There are also several mailing-lists dedicated to Nordic topics where the discussion is often in some Nordic language. It makes good sense to have at least one group act - as it were - as a window for foreigners to peek into the Nordic countries and their cultures, make contacts with Scandinavians and gain insight on topics that interest us. Don't get me wrong; it isn't the purpose of s.c.n to cater to the presumed needs of 'outsiders' -- this newsgroup isn't a zoo, thank goodness -- but it's a function it now succesfully fulfils thanks to the common use of English, among other, very different functions. But if you're a Nordic student or immigrant living abroad, or if you're studying some Nordic language, or if you're of Nordic descent and want to practice the language -- whatever your reason is, don't hesitate to start a thread in a Nordic language. It brings a welcome change to s.c.n, even if we may not want all discussion to be in Nordic languages. 1.3.7 What should I do when someone posts a flamebait? If you come across a posting that is an outrageous attack on truth, decency and everything civil, cross-posted typically to a very large number of news-groups, congratulate yourself for having spotted a "flamebait". If you feel enraged by the message, leave your terminal for a little while, take a walk around the house, drink a cup of tea, and come back relaxed and calm. It is strongly advisable that you then proceed to press 'n' or whichever key your newsreader uses for skipping to the next article, and ignore the post altogether, perhaps completing the procedure with a 'k' for kill-file and imagining, with a relieved smile on your face, an audible plonk as the cretin drops into your virtual garbage bin. Leaving nazi trash unchallenged in normal communication or media isn't a good idea, I agree, but this isn't normal communication nor is this a normal media; this is the Usenet, and here the only effecient way to deal with it is to ignore it. Trust me. Although, in some cases, if the villain does or says something really bad, it can be better to complain to his postmaster; for more on this, see section 1.5 below. As a general rule, these postings are made by individuals who want to piss you off so that as many people as possible will react, causing as annoying a thread as possible to be generated, and the general level of confusion to jump as high as possible. Don't think they want to discuss whatever it was that they posted, chaos is the only goal of these kooks. If you follow-up to their articles and flame them, you've in effect swallowed the bait and made their day. (There exists also a less malicious variant of this sport, called "trolling", which just adds spice to a discussion by intentional posting of false statements in order to elicit attention by unneccessary corrections; with it, too, you should try to remain as calm and collected as possible lest you reveal your newbieness. For more information about trolls and trolling see for instance: <> or <> in the Usenet legends.) And even if the person isn't a sophomoric joker but a genuine hate-monger, don't think you can convince him to come to his senses. You might or might not succeed in that were you to meet him face to face, but in Usenet you won't; non-verbal signs of your anger don't travel in the bitstream and your words, no matter how sincere, will lose their power to convince. All you'll ever accomplish is lowering the general signal-to-noise ratio, helping a flamewar to be born, making Usenet in general an unplesant place to be, and perhaps generating a few mocking chuckles at some terminal somewhere. 1.3.8 I have this bridge in Stavanger that I'd like to sell. Can I post an ad here? Nope. As a rule of thumb, do not post any commercial ads whatsover to s.c.n. They do not belong here, they make people very angry at you, posting them is typically a bad breach of netiquette and could cost you your account. If you're trying to sell something in the net, you're supposed to post your ads to the biz.* groups or certain others such as, not to the general discussion groups. However, brief, informational (no marketing hype) and polite announcements about services, happenings or maybe even products that have an unquestionable connection to Nordic culture are within the range of acceptable postings. For instance, an ad for cheap long-distance phone-calls is not o.k., but an announcement for a Grieg Festival in Bergen or a small ad for authentic Swedish surstrmming now available at your neighborhood www-mall might be. Be careful, though. Read the file "Advertising FAQ - Info For New Users", available at < ds>, before even thinking of posting an ad. You could burn your fingers. Badly. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.4 Looking for a Nordic girl-friend? A frequent FAQ is "How do I say 'I love you' in your language?" It's hard to give a fulfilling answer, since pronunciation would be unfamiliar for you - and the transcription to your language would change depending on what mother tongue you have. However, we will provide you with the most basic knowledge... i.e. how these phrases are written, so you can write it on your gifts and cakes. :-) [ The Finns claim that the written phrases are the only you need, since no-one (no real Finn at least) would ever utter such words in spoken Finnish. ] Bokml: Jeg elsker deg Danish: Jeg elsker dig Finnish: Min rakastan sinua Icelandic: Eg elska thig Nynorsk: Eg elskar deg Swedish: Jag lskar dig 1.4.1 Contacts through the Net About once a week, some cretin mistakes soc.culture.nordic for a dating service and posts a version of this actual message: In article <> writes: > My name is DAVID and I Live in ITALY. > I'm looking for swedish GIRL-FRIENDS. > Let's write me!!!!!! > I am a very interessant boy. These type of queries, however innocent they might be, indicate faulty assumptions about the purpose of s.c.n. and about Nordic women. Understandably, therefore, they tend to provoke flames from s.c.n.ers. These flames often digress into a more general sort of flaming on our usual topics of, for example, US imperialism, Norwegian whaling or the status of Finnish in Sweden / Swedish in Finland. An s.c.n. Nordic woman has written the following reply to such requests. If you have not bothered to read this FAQ entry before posting a request for correspondence, you will most assuredly receive this, or a less polite version thereof, in response to your posting: Dear soc.culture.nordic Poster: You are receiving this message because of your recent posting to s.c.n. asking for or offering correspondence with Nordic women. It goes without saying that your post will achieve its desired objective only when hell freezes over. However, Hell is in Norway and regularly freezes over - so the analogy suffers, but the sentiment remains intact. Those of us on s.c.n. know that the natural beauty, friendliness, and sincerity of many Nordic women attracts attention from all corners of the world. We are also well aware that general cultural mythology, adventuresome travelers, and Nordic cinematic efforts of the 1960s have led many non-Nordic men to believe, among other things, that a) all Nordic women are blonde, b) all blondes are stupid and/or c) Nordic women of any hair color are somehow "easy", or at least "easier" than most. These myths are not true. We can assure you that Nordic women are quite desirable, but for *far* more reasons than *you* can imagine. Bluntly put, Nordic women are not interested in corresponding with you simply because you exist. You have simply "dropped in" to the s.c.n. neighborhood to see if you can pick up chicks and your post clearly shows your stunning ignorance on the topic of Nordic women. Note this well: The men who have made it through the Viking gauntlet to become regular readers and contributors to s.c.n. (whether Nordic or not) are more than sufficiently intelligent, sincere, and funny to attract the interest of any Nordic woman. We are *not* suffering here. One last word. There is a popular misconception that many females reside on this group. Don't be fooled. Nordic men are notorious for hiding behind names that the rest of the world identifies as female - only to pounce on ignorant boys who attempt "friendly" correspondence. This is, of course, considered a Viking sport and a favorite form of s.c.n. entertainment. Be forewarned... Ruth Marie Sylte Regular s.c.n. contributor writing on behalf of, but not for, the Nordic Goddesses and Gods of s.c.n. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.5 Complaining to a person's postmaster;- how, when and why? Even though ignoring is often the best approach to bad net-behaviour, there are certain types of posting that warrant, or sometimes even require, actions to be taken. This does not mean flaming the person into a crisp, though; the best way is to mail a message to the username 'postmaster' at the same main domain as the crook's address shows. For example, if posts something you strongly disapprove of, send a polite complaint to the address, who may or may not do something about it. Remember to include in your mail the original article that caused you to complain and its headers so that the postmaster can check if it really was posted from that site. Here's an example of what your mail could look like: To: Cc: Subject: Net-abuse from your site Dear Sir, Your user John Spam ( has posted a [insert your favourite form of net-abuse] to the newsgroup soc. culture.nordic, an act widely recognized as a breach of netiquette. Please warn him not to do this again, and if he has done so before, consider removing his access to the Usenet. Thank you. Sincerely, Joe Netter [the posted article follows]: <...> Of course, the poster's address may be forged; if that's the case, there may not be much that you can do, except perhaps to repost it to, where people may be able to track it down if there really is a need for that. However, these actions should be left only to the worst offenders, because postmasters have a lot of work to do and if they get loads of unwarranted complaints they may lose their willingness to co-operate. Do not mail complaints simply because someone has called you an airhead in the heat of an argument. Use your common sense. Or you could go by this list of common types of articles that warrant a complaint: * MISPLACED ADS. See section 1.3.8 above; most ads, such as the the infamous Green Card Lotteries and Long-distance Phonecalls, are out of place in soc. culture.nordic. There's a struggle going on between the established Usenet culture and certain advertisers who don't give a dingo's kidneys about Usenet discussions, and only see the net as a virgin marketing medium ready and waiting to be raped with junk mail. If you want the Usenet to remain a discussion forum and not turn into a playground for the likes of Canter & Spam, it's almost your duty as a good netizen to react against this abuse of the net. The more people do it, the more effective it will be in uprooting the Evil. * MAKE MONEY FAST. There are lots of chainletters circulating the net; the one known by this name is the most common. People are supposed to send 5$ to the person on the top of a list of names, add their own name on the bottom, redistribute the letter, and then suddenly receive $50,000 some weeks later. I guess it never occurs to the people who buy into this thing to actually ask where the money is supposed to come from (except from gullible suckers like themselves). Anyway, chainletters are not only a totally pointless waste of good bandwidth but also illegal in most countries. * SPAM. Named in reference to a classic Monty Python sketch, spam means multiple postings of a single article. Posting a couple of copies of an article is acceptable in some cases; with spamming, we mean hundreds if not thousands of copies posted to almost all newsgroup of the net with the use of a posting script. It takes a lot of net resources, costs a lot of people large sums of money, and is very annoying to the readers. This is an extremely bad thing to do and those who have done it, often (but not always) to advertise some product, have experienced the hatred of hundreds of thousands enraged netters phoning them in the middle of the night, subscribing them to hundreds of magazines, mailbombing their systems, overloading their fax-machines, complaining to their employers and so forth. The least thing that happens to spammers is they will be plugged off the Internet, but a persistent spammer may be in for the ride of his life. Although cancel-bots such as the CancelMoose[tm] nowadays pretty effeciently deal with most spams, it is still recommended to mail the postmaster to convince him to remove the spammer's net access. * VELVEETA. Similar to spam, but instead of posting separate articles to a lot of unrelated newsgroups, the script has been set to cross-post to a lot of unrelated newsgroups. Takes less net-resources and is less of an annoyance, but is nevertheless abuse of the net as they're nearly always untopical to the newsgroups they're posted to and generate massive threads. It's also often used as a sort of a surrogate spam by obsessed advertisers, hoping that the cancelbots won't be able to sniff a velveeta. Never follow-up to one of these because your article will then show in all the newsgroups included and you'll be, as it were, participating in the velveeta. Complaining isn't as important as with spams, but it often makes sense if, for example, the article is not only a velveeta but also a misplaced ad. * FASCIST PROPAGANDA. S.c.n gets more than its share of this form of net-abuse, probably because neo-nazi twits think "aryan" Scandinavians are somehow more prone to buy into their ideas. It's illegal in some countries (such as Germany), but falls under freedom of speech in others. In the net, you should again use your judgment; if someone's merely expressing what you perceive as fascist or racist views in a discussion you should probably ignore it completely, or reply only in email if you feel you must reply. Absolute freedom of speech is what the Net is built on, and that unique tradition should be respected. Besides, here all extremist political views fall neatly into their place in the kooky club with the general discord, noise and weirdness, without ever attracting the undeserved attention that makes them potentially dangerous in traditional media. You can afford to ignore it or simply laugh; that's how the net has been successfully dealing with this stuff for as long as it has existed. If, however, someone's posting neo-nazi flyers, you have a reason to complain; expressing views is one thing, explicit propaganda another. Few sites want to be associated with it, legal or not. Using your voice sensibly will keep Usenet a better place to be for everyone. Emphasis on the word "sensibly". [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.6 The same procedure as last year... [ I'm including this already classic article by Lee Choquette in the FAQ. Posted some years ago, it has stood the test of time pretty well, which I suppose tells something quite fundamental about the nature of this newsgroup. ] From: Lee Choquette Date: 24 Nov 92 11:58:18 MST I got the idea for this article from one about the US presidential debates posted in rec.humor.funny last month. I've also seen such games for several different TV shows. Now I introduce... THE SOC.CULTURE.NORDIC DRINKING GAME You need a supply of your favorite drink (aquavit, koskenkorva, a glass of vodka in a pitcher of Pommac, whatever) and a stack of articles from soc.culture.nordic, if your local pub doesn't have Usenet. Read through the articles, and take a drink (sip) each time one of the following conditions is met: 1 An American asks what "canulla" means. Two drinks if a Swede responds and can't figure out what the word is. 2 A heated argument erupts over whether Vikings had horned helmets, or where Santa Claus lives. Take an additional drink for each week the thread continues. The whole glass if someone draws a color-coded graph of which Internet domains believe Vikings had horned helmets. 3 Someone complains about software that strips the eighth-bit. Two drinks if it's not someone from Iceland. 4 Someone criticizes the Swedish king. Two drinks if s/he mentions the Norwegian prime minister or the 1994 Winter Olympics in the same sentence. 5 Someone relates an anecdote demonstrating the kindness and earthy humanity of the Norwegian king or his father. Two drinks if it involves mass transit. 6 You hear about the Danish prince who doesn't use mass transit. Two drinks if it's a story about a new crash. 7 There's an article about Olof Palme again. Drink the whole glass if someone actually talks about Palme's life or beliefs, not just his death. 8 An American asks about an obscure Scandinavian band, and the conversation somehow shifts to Vikingarna and how awful dansband music is. Two drinks if someone confesses to having played Vikingarna on a jukebox. 9 Jungle animals are on the loose in Finland. Two drinks if the topic turns to alcoholism in Finland. 11 Russian submarines are detected in the Stockholm archipelago. Two drinks if the topic turns to alcoholism in Sweden. Three drinks if it turns to drunk tourists in Copenhagen. 12 A genealogist to the group asks about a place one of his/her ancestors came from, and for a couple of weeks we talk about how to translate ln and kommun into English. 13 An American asks what this newsgroup is for, and unwittingly sparks a flame war over the meanings of "Scandinavia" and "Skandinavien." Two drinks if the debate is instead over whether sports comes under culture. 19 The Great Whaling Debate resumes. Two drinks if it doesn't continue beyond a single article. 18 Swedish-speaking Finns are referred to as aristocrats. Two drinks if a Finland-Swede refers to his potato-farming ancestors. 17 A Finnish-speaking Finn complains about mandatory Swedish classes. Two drinks if s/he can't write in Swedish despite the classes. 26 We face the age-old question, "Why 'Italien' and 'italienare,' or 'Frenta staterna' and 'amerikanare,' but 'Finland' and 'finlndare'?" 81 Finns in Sweden are portrayed as the victims of racism, ethnic cleansing, or genocide. One drink for each of the following words or phrases you see: a. home language or hemsprk (2 drinks for "skolbyrkratisk term"); b. Forest Finns, skogsfinnar, or Vrmland (2 drinks for Ntti-Jussi); c. Tornedal Finns (2 drinks if someone disputes that they are Finns); d. Nazi Germany, Holocaust, or the like; or e. Hasan B. Mutlu. I hope I didn't offend anyone by this game. I mean it as a good-natured (self) parody of this newsgroup. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.7 Which are the related newsgroups? 1.7.1 the international hierarchies? There aren't that many. Soc.culture.nordic, as I said, is so far the only group in the original "Big Seven" hierarchies (news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, misc.*, talk.* and comp.*) devoted specifically to the Nordic countries, and there aren't any corresponding alt.* groups either. Splitting up soc.cculture.nordic into s.c.sweden, s.c.finland, and so forth, has been discussed from time to time but the idea hasn't received much support because of the relatively low number of Nordic netters in general and Danish & Icelandic netters in particular (s.c.n is a pretty medium-traffic group), the existense of national hierarchies where Nordics can discuss the matters of their own countries, and perhaps also the feeling of community that has evolved in s.c.n over the years (the group has been around for at least since the beginning of the 1990:ies; no one seems to know the exact year it was created). There are, however, some international newsgroups that have some connection to Nordic issues. A scan through the lists of active major and alternative newsgroups (posted regularly to news.lists) with global distribution produced the following, vaguely Nordic-related groups: soc.culture.baltics An unmoderated group on the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. soc.culture.estonia A moderated group on things Estonian. soc.culture.europe A group on European countries in general, but alas, probably the flamiest group in the net right after alt.flame. soc.genealogy.nordic Questions about your family roots should be posted here. rec.skiing.nordic A group devoted to that most Nordic of all sports, cross-country skiing. Discussions on travelling in the Nordic countries fit in here as well. talk.politics.european-union Politics of the European Union Nordunet is the hierarchy of the Nordic University Network. Discussion in both English and Nordic languages (this one is in 'skandinaviska'). The Norsemen of the Net. alt.kill.the.whales A Norwegian national pastime. Bjrn, Benny &co. ABBA and beyond. The Icelandic singer Bjrk and her late band, the Sugarcubes. The Swedish guitar hero. Politics of the European Union. alt.religion.asatru Worshippers of the Old Norse deities. alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork has the word "Swedish" in it. :) Anyway, it's a classic. (Did I forget any? I shouldn't think so :) 1.7.2 the Nordic hierarchies? In the national hierarchies all discussion is in the Nordic languages, often on Nordic topics. The main hierarchies (except for the Icelandic is.* hierarchy, I've been told) can be accessed and posted to from abroad. It is, however, up to your system administrator to decide whether or not your site will receive them; contact him/her if you would like for your site to carry them. If he refuses, it may be possible (although not necessarily very convenient) to access some of them via a mailing-list to which the newsgroup is mirrored. You can also search for a "public NNTP server" in Scandinavia that carries these groups, and set your newsreader to use it instead of the server your own site normally uses - in a Unix shell, this can be done with the command "setenv NNTPSERVER <name of server>". Different kinds of FAQs also exist to guide the many Nordic newcommers to Internet and to Usenet, as for instance the Danish OSS - Ofte stillede sprgsml, and a Swedish Sidor fr nybrjare together with a current full list of "swnet.*" groups which can be obtained by WWW from the URL: <>. When you read s.c.n, check the headers of posts coming from the Nordic countries, see the line "NNTP-Posting-Host" or the second last domain of the "Path" line, and try to set these as your NNTP server. Most servers only allow their own users to access them and it can be difficult to find a public server, especially one that allows you not just read but also post, but with some trying or asking around you should be able to find them. Here are some examples of newsgroups from each of the main Nordic hierarchies (there are, of course, tens if not hundreds of groups other than these in the hierarchies, on various topics): swnet.diverse A group on miscellaneous topics in Swedish. swnet.svenska Swedes talking about the Swedish language in Swedish. swnet.filosofi Swedes philosophizing. no.general General topics in Norwegian. no.alt.frustjasoner Frustrated Norwegians. Danes chatting. dk.general More chatter in Danish. sfnet.keskustelu.ihmissuhteet Finns wrestling with human relations. sfnet.huuhaa Verbal acrobatics and idle talk in Finnish. finet.svenska.prat An alternative Finnish hierarchy; this group, but not all of the hierarchy, is in Swedish. An up to date list of all groups in the sfnet.* hierarchy can be acquired by anonymous FTP from <> . 1.7.3 What about mailing-lists? Honestly, keeping track on mailing-lists isn't really what s.c.nordic's contributors are known for, but there exists at least one list which ought to be mentioned: The mailing-list Swede-L, mainly about Sweden, which has survived since 1993. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.8 What are Nordic graphemes? (by Tor Slettnes) Nordic graphemes can in this context be described as "graphical representations of the letters that exist in the various Nordic alphabets, beyond those that exist in the English alphabet". Each of the Nordic written languages uses some additional letters compared to English. These are, in order of appearance in the alphabets: Letter: Languages used: Pronounced like: character: ________________________________________________________________ a acute is 'ou' in "loud" eth is 'th' in "there" e acute is (dk, no, se, fi) 'ea' in "yeah" i acute is 'e' in "he" o acute is 'o' in "home" u acute is 'ou' in "you" y acute is 'e' in "he" thorn is 'th' in "thumb" ae is 'i' in "hi" dk, no 'a' in "bad" o-slash dk, no 'i' in "bird" a-ring dk, no, se (fi) 'o' in "bored" a diaeresis se, fi 'a' in "bad" o diaeresis se, fi, is 'i' in "bird" u diaeresis (se, fi, dk, no) 'ue' in french "rue" A set of parentheses around the country code indicates that the letter is rarely used in the corresponding language, typically only for loan words or names originating from another language. Other accents, such as ^ (circumflex) and accent grave are now and then used in foreign names and words in all Nordic languages. In Denmark and Norway the alphabet is ordered: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z For Finland and Sweden the order is: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z If your curiosity isn't satisfied by the pronounciation guide above, there are more extensive comments in the various language sections of this faq. 1.8.1 How are these represented in Usenet postings and E-mail? The "mother" of all modern character sets for computers is the original ASCII character set, now renamed to US-ASCII. (ASCII = "American Standard Code for Information Interchange"). This is a 7-bit set containing the characters needed to write American English without accents or special letters, and little more. No "foreign" letters are included. Various standards exist for representing extra characters, some of which are: Digraph, LaTeX, ISO-646, ISO-8859-1, and the IBM codepages 437, 850, and 865. All of these sets, except the IBM codepages, are usually considered acceptable on soc.culture.nordic, e-mail, and the internet in general. Digraphs are two-character combinations used for simplicity, and are often the most universally understood notation on soc .culture .nordic. However, when using these to non-Nordics, one should be careful to explain that these are digraphs, not two separate characters. Also, some information may get lost by using digraphs, since a filtering program will not be able to determine whether it is really a digraph or two separate characters. LaTeX notation comes from the typesetting program by the same name, where a sequence starting with '\' may be substituted with a given character. For instance, the a-ring is written as "\aa" or "{\aa}" in LaTeX. ISO-646 (really ISO-646-NO and ISO-646-SE) are 7-bit sets similar to US-ASCII, but with national characters substituted in place of the following characters: {, |, }, [, \, ]. This is the oldest one of the "true representation" standards mentioned here; it was used in e.g. the Nordic versions of the CP/M operating system, prior to MS-DOS. Today, it is mostly used in Sweden and Finland (although the ordering of the letters, for the sake of compability with the Danish /Norwegian /German equivalents, are not correct in these languages). ISO-8859-1, also called ISO Latin-1, is the first of several 8-bit character sets described in International Standards Organization's document 8859. (ISO is the maintainer of the meter, the kilogram, etcetera.) This sets include all characters needed for all West European languages, leave Smi and Esperanto. Latin-1 is a superset of US-ASCII, hence all ASCII characters maintain their original position in this set. Rather than trying to accomodate positioning in any spesific language, the letters in ISO-8859-1 are ordered according to the alphabetical position of their US-ASCII lookalikes. Latin-1 is supported through modern standardizations like MIME (RFC 1521). The IBM codepages 437, 850, 861 and 865 are used on Personal Computers in "text" mode, and is also the default set on many MS-Windows communication programs. Out of the Big Blue, they were created to provide text-based PC programs with a means to create low-cost graphics, and the addition of extra characters came as a nice side effect. (Certain Nordic characters were not represented in the original codepage 437, with the consequence that in Iceland, Denmark and Norway, computers would occasionally be sold with cp 861 or 865 in the hardware. Today, alternative codepages can be downloaded to the video card via software). The Danish /Norwegian character o-slash is not represented in cp 437, and in 850 /861 /865 it is positioned with the dangerous code 155 (9B hex) -- "Upper Escape". Certain terminal types will interpret this code as the initial character of a escape command, and may e.g. clear the screen depending on the next letter. Further, it is incompatible with the established 8-bit standard Latin-1, and should be avoided. The various notations of the Nordic graphemes follow: Letter Digraph LaTeX ISO-646 ISO-8859-1 HTML Octal Char _________________________________ _____________________________________ a acute A' \'{A} - alt-0193 &#193; &Aacute; \301 a' \'{a} - alt-0225 &#225; &aacute; \341 eth TH - alt-0208 &#208; &ETH; \320 th - alt-0240 &#240; &eth; \360 e acute E' \'{E} - alt-0201 &#201; &Eacute; \311 e' \'{e} - alt-0233 &#233; &eacute; \351 i acute I' \'{I} - alt-0205 &#205; &Iacute; \315 i' \'{i} - alt-0237 &#237; &iacute; \355 o acute O' \'{O} - alt-0211 &#211; &Oacute; \323 o' \'{o} - alt-0243 &#243; &oacute; \363 u acute U' \'{U} - alt-0218 &#218; &Uacute; \332 u' \'{u} - alt-0250 &#250; &uacute; \372 y acute Y' \'{Y} - alt-0221 &#221; &Yacute; \335 y' \'{y} - alt-0253 &#253; &yacute; \375 thorn TH - alt-0222 &#222; &THORN ; \336 th - alt-0254 &#254; &thorn; \376 u diaeresis U" \"{U} ^ alt-0220 &#220; &Uuml; \334 u" \"{u} ~ alt-0252 &#252; &uuml; \374 ae AE {\AE} [ alt-0198 &#198; &AElig; \306 ae {\ae} { alt-0230 &#230; &aelig; \346 o-slash OE {\OE} \ alt-0216 &#216; &Oslash; \330 oe {\oe} | alt-0248 &#248; &oslash; \370 a-ring AA {\AA} ] alt-0197 &#197; &Aring; \305 aa {\aa} } alt-0229 &#229; &aring; \345 a diaeresis A" \"{A} [ alt-0196 &#196; &Auml; \304 a" \"{a} { alt-0228 &#228; &auml; \344 o diaeresis O" \"{O} \ alt-0214 &#214; &Ouml; \326 o" \"{o} | alt-0246 &#246; &ouml; \366 The ISO-646 charsets for Denmark/Norway and Finland/Sweden are in practice obsolete, and there never existed one for Icelandic, but you may run into older 7-bits text files using them. It is to be noted that is not represented in iso-646-NO for Denmark/Norway. 1.8.2 Pros and cons of the different representations If you have been a reader of this group for a while, you may have noticed that discussion about characters and their representations occasionally accounts for quite a bit of bandwidth. It often does not take more than a question about the issue from a new reader, or someone posting an article with an IBM character set, to get a new thread going on the issue. Some want to keep 7-bit ISO-646 (be aware that they may call it "true ASCII", although strictly speaking, is not), since 7-bit codes will always get though with any setup; others want ISO-Latin-1 since it is more universal; and yet others promote digraphs as the greatest common denominator between the two. Some pros and cons for each set: Character set: Advantages: Disadvantages: __________________________________________________________________ Digraphs * Requires 7-bit only * Ambiguous ("oe" or "o-slash"?) * Non-optimal compromise LaTeX * Non-ambiguous 7-bit * Made for typesetting; representation. somewhat cryptic for regular text. * Non-optimal compromise ISO-646-SE, * Only 7-bit "true" * Different standards ISO-646-DK representation. for each language <[\]{|}> * No data loss even * Getting harder to with old hardware/ find font support software/setup. (Dying out). * Shadows the brace, sqare bracket, pipe, and backslash chars. ISO Latin 1 * Utilizes all 8 bits * Requires 8-bit clean (ISO-8859-1) in a byte; yet avoids connection; older <..> dangerous codes. systems may cause * Universal for all data loss. Western European * May require some languages. setup. * Supported by ISO and * In case of stripping, MIME; true subset of becomes "FXEDVfxedv"; Unicode. difficult to read. IBM CodePages * Uses all 256 codes; * Uses all 256 codes; Machintosh set more characters incl. dangerous ones. <Unacceptable> * Often used in PC * Incompatible with environments such as the "de-facto" 8-bit BBS'es. standard ISO-8859-1 __________________________________________________________________ 1.8.3 How do I set up support for 7-bit ISO-646 representation? ({|}, [\]) The ISO-646 sets are still supported via varoius fonts and translation filters. Possible measures to set up support for them are: * For the "terminal" program shipped with Windows 3.x, simply select "Denmark/Norway", "Sweden" or "Finland" from the Translations item in the "Terminal Preferences" dialogue box. * For MS-Kermit, use the command "set term charcter-set language", where "language" is one of "Finnish", "Swedish", or "Norwegian". * For other DOS and Windows communication programs, visit its local translation tables and insert appropriate translations for '[', '\', ']', '{', '|', '}'. * For Unix based news readers, either find a ISO-646 font, or pipe your newsreader through one of the following commands (Provided the font you use is ISO-8859-1): Denmark/Norway: tr '\\]{|}' '\330\305\346\370\345' Sweden/Finland: tr '\\]{|}' '\326\305\344\366\345' For instance, in your .cshrc file, insert the following line: alias rn "rn | tr '\\]{|}' '\330\305\346\370\345'" The character '[' should not be translated, because it is used in ANSI escape sequences. Note that if you use this kind of translation, you will no longer see any of the characters '\]{|}'; in most cases this outweighs the benefits from seeing the national letters. 1.8.4 How do I set up support for 8-bit ISO-8859-1 representation? (, ) The ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) set is currently the most common character representation standard on soc.culture.nordic, and is also quite frequent in e.g. soc.culture.german, personal e-mail etc. However, on many systems, the ability to view these characters is not provided as "default", so you may need to configure some things on your own. * If you are reading news through a modem, you need to make sure that your modem connection is 8 data bits. (The most common parameters are "8N1" - 8 data bits, no parity bits, and one stop bit). * For DOS text mode communication programs, you need a ISO->IBM translation table. Tables for Telemate, Telix and Procomm Plus can be found in the file "", available at various FTP sites. * For MS Windows communication programs, select an ANSI or ISO-Latin-1 font. For MS-Kermit, use "set term char latin". For Procomm Plus for Windows, select vt220 or vt320 emulation. Be sure that bit 8 is not stripped. * For MS Windows you can also generate 8-bit characters globally by choosing "US-International" keyboard layout via the "International" dialogue box in the Control Panel. For instance, '' (a diaeresis) is generated by pressing "a, i.e. double quote followed by lowercase a. A note to Windows programmers: Let the underlying keyboard drivers, run-time libararies etc. take care of keyboard input. Only be sure that the 8th bit is not stripped/masked away. * If your newsreader is UNIX-based, insert the following command in your .login or .profile file: stty -istrip pass8 * If your modem connection is 7 bits (and cannot be changed to 8 bits), you can have ISO-Latin-1 characters translated to "[\]{|}" before they are sent over the modem. Pipe your reader through the "tr" command, similar to above: tr '\306\330\305\304\326\346\370\345\344\366' '[\\][\\{|}{|' * If you use the "emacs" editor, version 19.x, and have a ISO-Latin-1 display font, insert the following line in your .emacs file: (standard-display-european t) Also, if you have a keyboard with international characters that you want to be able to use directly, or if you in another way are able to generate 8-bit codes directly from your keyboard, insert the following line: (set-input-mode (car (current-input-mode)) (nth 1 (current-input-mode)) 0) Note that in cases where the Meta key is represented by setting the 8th (high) bit, (ie. if you are not using X-windows), this line will disable the Meta key, so you will subsequently have to use "ESC x" to generate "M-x". Otherwise, insert the following line: (load-library "iso-insert") A new keymap, 8859-1, has now been assigned to the key sequence "C-x 8". You can assign this to another sequence, e.g. C-t, by inserting: (global-set-key "\C-t" 8859-1-map) Some strokes from this map: C-x 8 d gives (eth) C-x 8 t gives (thorn) C-x 8 a e gives (ae) C-x 8 / o gives (o-slash) C-x 8 a a gives (a-ring) C-x 8 " a gives (a diaeresis) C-x 8 " o gives (o diaeresis) C-x 8 ' a gives (a acute) C-x 8 ' i gives (i acute) 1.8.5 References For an index to other literature on internationalization, try: <> I am: Tor Slettnes. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 1.9 About measures and figures 1.9.1 Why is it advisable to use the metric system in s.c.n? Because you'll get flamed if you don't, that's why. :-> The obscure Anglo-Saxon units of measurement are a pet peeve of certain s.c.n regulars, known as net.metric-cops, who are very much committed to the cause of converting Yanks to the SI units. But it's really just a question of common courtesy. This is Nordic territory; we might be speaking English most of the time, but there's a limit to the extent we're willing to accommodate the American netters. :-) And seriously, many Nordics simply won't have an idea of what you're talking about if you use feet, yards, fahrenheits, inches, gallons, pounds or miles. If you don't know how to convert these to the metric system, it's about time to wake up to the 20th century and learn. Here are the tables: Linear measure -------------- Primitive system Metric system **************** ************* 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters (cm) 1 cm = 0.3937 inch 1 foot = 30.48 centimeters 1 m = 39.37 inches, or 1 yard = 0.9144 meter (m) 3.2808 feet, or 1 mile = 1.6093 kilometers (km) 1.0936 yards. 1 km = 3280.8 feet, or 1093.6 yards, or 0.62137 miles. Liquid measure -------------- 1 U.S fluid ounce = 29.573 milliliters (ml) 1 ml = 0.033814 fl.oz. 1 U.S quart = 9.4635 deciliters (dl), or 1 dl = 3.3814 fl.oz. 0.94635 liters (l) 1 l = 33.814 fl oz., or 1 U.S gallon = 3.7854 liters 1.0567 quarts, or 1 U.S pint = 0.4732 liters 0.26417 gallons 1 U.S pint = 0.4732 liters 1 l = 2.1134 U.S pints Area ---- 1 sq foot = 0.0929 sq meters (m) 1 m = 10.764 sq feet 1 sq yard = 0.83613 sq meters (m) 1 m = 1.1960 sq yards 1 acre = 0.4046 hectare (ha) 1 ha = 2.471 acres 1 sq mile = 2.5900 sq kilometers (km) 1 km = 0.38610 sq miles Mass ---- 1 ounce = 28.350 grams (g) 1 g = 0.03527 ounces 1 pound = 0.45359 kilograms (kg) 1 kg = 2.2046 pounds 1 short ton = 0.90718 metric ton 1 metric ton = 0.98421 long tons, or 1 long ton = 1.0160 metric tons 1.1023 short tons, or 1,000 kg Temperature ----------- The Celsius ("centigrade") scale, named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-44), is based on the freezing and boiling points of water -- 0C and 100C, respectively. The Fahrenheit scale, on the other hand, is based on what Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) considered to be the temperature of the human body (100F; in reality it should be around 98.6F) and the lowest temperature he could achieve (0F) by mixing salt, water and ice. Converting between the two can be done by the following formulas: C = (F-32)/1.8 F = 32+(1.8*C) Or, for practical purposes, a bit simplified formulas can be used: To get Fahrenheit out of Celsius: double the Celsius, subtract 10%, and add thirty-two. To get Celsius out of Fahrenheit: subtract thirty-two, add 10%, and divide by two. Or if this is still too complicated, you could learn by heart parts of the following tables: Fahrenheit --> Celsius Celsius --> Fahrenheit -40F = -40C / \ _________/ \_________ | | v v -10F = -23C -10C = 14F 0F = -18C 0C = 32F 10F = -12C 10C = 50F 20F = -7C 20C = 68F 30F = -1C 30C = 86F 40F = 4C 40C = 104F 50F = 10C 50C = 122F 60F = 16C 60C = 140F 70F = 21C 70C = 158F 80F = 27C 80C = 176F 90F = 32C 90C = 194F 100F = 38C 100C = 212F In the scales, 1 degree C corresponds to 1.8 degrees F, 1 degree F corresponds to 0.56 degrees C. You'd better learn all this now, because later on there might be a quiz. :-> 1.9.2 How long is a Nordic mile? John Mortison writes: I am reading a copy of my greataunt's memoirs of growing up in Sweden before she emigrated to the US in 1890. In it she several times makes reference to Swedish miles and comments that they were longer than English miles. Leif B. Kristensen answers: John, this unit of distance is still in use, both in Sweden and in Norway, and in the other Nordic countries too, I think. A Nordic mil equals 10 kilometers, or approx. 6 1/4 English mile. It's the normal unit in which we reckon distance between towns and cities here. Hans Engmark fills in: > Denmark is not quiet as big, so though we also belong to > the Nordic countries, a mile is here only 7 km. :-) Mesaurement in Denmark 1683-1998 and Norway 1683-1814 ???? Danish mile = 7.538 m Danish metermile = myriameter= 10.000 m Danish geograficmile = 7420 m Danish nauticmile= 1842 m Danish inch 26,17 mm Danish feet 0,31385 m 1.9.3 A warning about decimal commas and delimiters Although most writers in s.c.n. ought to know the English usage of decimal points and commas in big figures, you must be observant. The usage in Scandinavia, in Germany and in France is the opposite, and mistakes are common. Recently it has become usual to mark thousands and millions by a single and a double apostrophe, like this: 1'200 for one thousand two hundreds, or 5"600'000 for five millions six hundred thousands. Sometimes you can also see an abbreviated form, 1'2 or 5"6, and you have to be prepared that the foot and inch signs might have other usages. Finally, it's hopefully unnecessary to stress the difference between the American billion (a French, German or Scandinavian milliard) and the European billion (which is a million millions). 1.9.4 All XXXs are YYY, ain't that so? Probably not. Never trust the net for drawing conclusions about groups of people, especially whole nations. You'll always get it wrong. I wouldn't want to preach, but some people need to be reminded. We're not statistically representative of the population layers of our countries, and most of us don't even attempt to represent anyone but our own, eccentric selves. A few colourful kooks with no life outside the net always outshine the silent, lurking masses. Don't fall into thinking "Gosh, those XXXs sure are a mighty weird/fanatic/stupid bunch of people." Treat us as individuals, and you'll have a better chance of being treated as an individual yourself. All this being said: welcome to soc.culture.nordic! We hope you enjoy the group! [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- END OF PART 1 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Copyright 1994-98 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson. You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL for the original archive (as: <>), where the most recent version of this document can be found. -- e-mail: s-mail: Majeldsvgen 8a, 587 31 LINKPING, Sweden www:

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