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ALL: Monthly FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Part 3/4

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Archive-name: tv/soaps/faq/part3
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1999/06/12

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Changes since last posting - acronym section: added ICAM

                     This FAQ is formatted as a digest.
                Most news readers can skip from one question
                     to the next by pressing control-G.

Following is a list of helpful hints and posting information. All
new readers of* are encouraged to read the
FAQs, which are posted monthly.  They are also available through
anonymous ftp from under
/pub/usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1 thru part 4,
or send email to with any or all of:
        send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1
        send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part2
        send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part3
        send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part4
in the body of the message.  Send comments, corrections, additions to
me, questions to the newsgroup (I don't know everything and can't
answer everything). THANKS.

The following sections are covered in Part 3 (of 4):

Part III:  rats*-specific questions
15. What does [acronym] stand for?
16. Where's such-and-such an update?
17. Can I borrow a tape of so-and-so episode?
18. Why doesn't each show have its own newsgroup?
19. Do the soap writers/actors read*?

Part III:  rats*-specific questions

Subject: 15. Acronyms commonly used by posters:

A&DwSOM:  Armed and Dangerous with Soap Opera Magazine
A,bnd,w/SOM:  Armed, but not Dangerous, with Soap Opera Magazine
AFAICR:  As Far As I Can Recall/Remember
AFAIK:  As Far As I Know
BH: Butt-Head or Better Half
BTW: By The Way
CUL:  See You Later
FAQ:  Frequently Asked Question
FF: Fast Forward
FWIW:  For What It's Worth
FYI:  For Your Information
<G>: Grin (also <VBG>, <BEG> - Very Big Grin, Big Evil Grin)
+ ICAM:  I Couldn't Agree More
IDTS:  I Don't Think So
IMHO:  In My Humble (or Honest) Opinion
IMNSHO:  In My Not So Humble Opinion
IOAS: It's Only A Soap...
IOASOG: It's Only A Soap Opera Group
ITA: I Totally Agree
JTYLTK: Just thought you'd like to know
JTYMLTK: Just thought you might like to know
LOD: Line Of the Day
LOL: Laughing Out Loud
OTF:  On The Floor
OTFL:  On The Floor Laughing
PITA:  Pain In The A**
RATS:  Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps
RATSA:  Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.ABC
RATSC:  Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.CBS
RATSM:  Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.Misc
ROTFL:  Rolling On The Floor Laughing
ROTFLM*O:  Rolling On The Floor Laughing My (insert whatever word here,
        ie Head, A**, Buns, etc.) Off
ROTFLM*OWTIME:  Rolling On The Floor Laughing My * Off With Tears In My Eyes
ROTFLM*OWTRDMF:  Ditto, With Tears Rolling Down My Face
RSN:  Real Soon Now
SIDAR:  Stupid Idiotic Dumb A** Rectangle
SO: Significant Other
SOD:  Soap Opera (Digest or Disease)
SORAS: Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
SORES: Soap Opera Rapid Education Syndrome
TAWP: The Actor/Actress Who Plays/Played
TIIC:  The Idiots in Charge
TPTB:  The Powers That Be
TTFN:  Ta-Ta For Now
TTYL: Talk To You Later
YKW: You Know Who (often used in '94-95 in reference to OJ) 
YMMV:  Your Mileage May Vary

Subject: 16. Updates & Updaters (for soaps which have regular
updaters, ie AMC, ATWT, GH, GL, CITY, B&B, Y&R)

"Where's such-and-such an update?"; "Why do we have only one 
updater for each day of the week?"; "I want to do an update too, 
may I?"

Remember that the updaters are real people with real jobs and real school
work just like you.  Let's put it this way -- if someone works 8-5 and
watches a soap opera episode after work, it might be difficult for
them to have the update done by early the next morning.  Also, there
is often a bit of lag time between the time an article is posted
and when the article reaches your news site.  So *please* don't post
an article on Tuesday asking where Monday's update is... you might
upset the Monday updater enough that he or she will stop doing the 
updates altogether!

Some history:  Years ago - Carolyn Zaccaria (CAZ) did updates EVERY 
day of the week for AMC.  The updates were very much appreciated, but 
too much work for one person to do, so the weekly update schedule was 
set up to add some sort of method to the madness.  This type of schedule 
is used for other soaps as well. (HELP me out here, folks - which of 
the daytime soaps have regular updaters???)  If we DIDN'T have a 
regular schedule, most likely we'd have 4 or 5 people doing updates for 
the REALLY great shows and there would have been NO updates during 
slack times.  If you think that you're not getting updates for every 
day of the week, check out section 11 of this FAQ - you might be able 
to get the updates via a mailing list set up by a volunteer on this 

Remember, when a person is able to plan in advance that they're
going to be doing an update they usually it takes them longer to watch
an episode and take notes for the update.  Most of the updaters would
not be willing to do this if they weren't sure that they wouldn't be
duplicating other people's work.  If you are not a regular updater, but 
would like to try your hand at doing one, it would be polite to get in 
touch with a regular updater to do a guest spot when that updater needs 
a stand-in.

An open letter to those who say, "I don't care who posts the updates 
as long as I get them.":

Perhaps this analogy will help:  Imagine, if you will, that you had
decided to volunteer your services to read to a group of children every
Wednesday.  You select the books and you make time in your schedule.  
Then one Wednesday you arrive at the appointed place and find someone
else reading your book to the children.  You might try to understand,
but you would be a little hurt.  You would probably tell this person that
you were the scheduled reader and if he/she wanted to substitute one day,
that would be okay as long as he/she asked you.  After all, you could 
have done something else that day if you knew you weren't needed. But 
now, imagine how you would feel if the parents of those children, or the
children themselves said, "Hey, I don't care *who* reads the story as 
long as the ]story is read."  I'll tell you how you would feel.  Slighted.
Unappreaciated.  Swept under the rug.  Stung.  Upset.  Ready to chuck
the whole thing.  When the regular updaters see people saying things
like this they want to give it all up.  This is sad.  They're not
getting money for this.  They're doing it on a volunteer basis but 
it's organized.  There's a structure and a protocol as in all operations 
of this type.  Feelings can get hurt all around if the protocol isn't

[Thanks to Mary Wu and Nancy Calzaretta]

Subject: 17. Can I borrow a tape of so-and-so episode?

Many times people miss a day of recording due to power problems, VCR
problems, roommate problems, or a number of other reasons.

If you write to r.a.t.s.* asking for an episode, please list 
the city and state you live in.  Not all newsreaders automatically 
add this.  There might be someone that lives near you that would 
be willing to loan you a tape if they knew you lived in the same 
town and they would have the tape returned soon.

Subject: 18. Why doesn't each show have its own newsgroup?

First, a little history about*:
Way back when, a group called encapsulated all tv articles, 
including soaps. A flame war led to a separation of groups. The soap 
people got their own group around 1984 and it was called 
Around 1986 or so, the "arts" began cropping up in newsgroup titles 
so we had  This group continued until...

On December 5, 1994, the newsgroup (which covered all 
discussion of all the soaps) was officially split into three subgroups.  
The split proponent's goal at the time was to have one newsgroup for each 
of the three major US networks and an "all encompassing" miscellaneous 
newsgroup for discussion of soaps that didn't fall into one of the other 
three categories.  But, when all was said and done and the votes were 
counted, the group did not pass the critical 2/3 
"yes" vote threshold.  So, we now have: - for discussion of soaps produced by or for the 
                          ABC television network (AMC, OLTL, PC, and GH) - for discussion of soaps produced by or for the 
                          CBS television network (B&B, ATWT, Y&R, and GL) - for discussion of interest to soap opera viewers 
                           not covered by the and 
                           newsgroups (for example:  DOOL, AW, SIS,
			   KL, MP, & 90210)

For more information on the creation of new Usenet newsgroups, please 
refer to the posts "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and "Usenet 
Newsgroup Creation Companion" on news.groups, news.announce.newusers, 
news.admin.misc, news.announce.newgroups or news.answers for a detailed 
discussion of the newsgroup creation process.  If the articles listed 
above do not appear in the above newsgroups at your site, you can get 
copies of them using email.  Simply send an email message to containing any or all of:

  send usenet/news.answers/usenet/creating-newsgroups/part1
  send usenet/news.answers/usenet/creating-newsgroups/helper

Some readers of the* hierarchy will no doubt continue to 
bemoan the fact that their show or network does not have its own group and 
will continue to ask the question:  "But what about all those mindless alt 
groups that show up every day...why don't we just create an alt group for 
each show?"  Lots of sites don't carry the alt groups.  In an effort to 
make sure that everyone who currently has access to the* 
hierarchy continues to have access to their favorite newsgroup(s), the new 
groups ought to be kept in the* hierarchy.  There
have recently been a couple of alt groups set up for DOOL and AW fans
( and, but even these
are not always propogated well.

Please, don't just say, "hey, let's split this group" and expect it to 
magically happen.  Things simply don't work that way.  If you think you 
might be up to the task of supervising another newsgroup split, it is 
recommended that you read news.groups for six months before proposing 
a new group.

One last thing, check out the part of FAQ which explains 
the use of kill files and other methods of weeding out articles you are not 
interested in.  We realize everyone doesn't have access to a kill file but 
there's nothing we can do about that.  If you are such a person, you might 
consider speaking with your system administrator about upgrading your news 
reading software or, if that doesn't work, seek out a service provider 
who's willing to provide you with software that better suits your needs.

[Thanks to Joanna Castillo ( and
 Cindy Camp (]

Subject: 19. Do the soap writers/actors read

PLEASE NOTE:  this is *only* information about the newsgroup* - not about AOL, web pages, or "the internet" 
in general.  Please keep this in mind when emailing me 

Many readers of this newsgroup have wondered if the writers of their
soap opera(s) read r.a.t.s.*.  James Kiberd [Trevor Dillon] told an AMC
fan that the writers read both the UNIX and Prodigy newsgroups.  Eva
LaRue (Maria Santos-Grey on AMC) is regularly sent printouts from
r.a.t.s.a. and enjoys reading them.  Robyn Griggs (ex-Maggie on AW),
has had access and has posted to r.a.t.s. in the past (around 1993
I believe).

Bryce Jasmer, actor Brent Jasmer's (of B&B) brother, reads r.a.t.s
and has given Brent some of our comments.  Jim Acker (rats-er), wrote
to the writers and producers of B&B, explaining the internet and
r.a.t.s.  In return, he received a hand-written letter from Bradley
Bell, head writer of B&B and son of the legendary Bill Bell.  So he
knows we're out here, whether they read or not!

Both Hunter (Taylor, B&B) & Michael (ex-Blade, Y&R; Quinton, GL) Tylo 
are regularly sent printouts of anything related to them on r.a.t.s.c., 
through the computer representative for the "Michael and Hunter Tylo 
Official Fan Club" (Connie Gondek).  Hunter Tylo has also posted to the
r.a.t.s.c. newsgroup, through an account on Prodigy.

Eva Weitzel is in contact with the stage manager at Y&R, and has also
written to TPTB at Y&R about r.a.t.s*.  While she hasn't heard from
TPTB directly, at least they should know about us!

I have since heard (in June 1995) that a writer from B&B emailed a 
poster who had the same name as one of the writer's friends.  In 
correspondence with the B&B writer, it was revealed that there's at 
least one Y&R writer lurking in as well.  In December
1998, I received word that Jim Houghton, former actor on Y&R and one
of the senior members of their writing staff today has posted to
r.a.t.s.c. several times over the past 6 months.

Margaret Reed (ex)Shannon of ATWT is a's
sister-in-law.  He keeps her informed as to what's going on here.
Yvonne Perry (Rosanna on ATWT) is sent copies of r.a.t.s.c. articles
by her friend, Lisa Petrocelli.  Alison Rice-Taylor (Connor on ATWT)
was reading rats-cbs for a while around July 1996, and and corresponded
with several r.a.t.s.c.-readers via email.  Another ratsc-reader has
gotten email from both Greg Watkins (ex-Evan, ATWT) and Michael Swan
(ex-Duncan, ATWT) both of whom are sometime lurkers.

Jodi Bloodgood (an ex-r.a.t.s.-er)'s husband Jim is in Wally Kurth's band
(Ned, GH).  Another rats-er continues to print out posts & forward
them to Jodi & Jim to read or, if there is something interesting 
written or comments made regarding the show (i,e, suggestions, praises, 
complaints, etc.), sends them to Wally and/or Christian Taylor, Wally's 
musical partner (Gene on GH) so they know the feelings of their audience.  
The band is now on the show (including Jodi's husband, too, as the 
character "Nick").  Neither Wally, nor the band has access to netnews, 
but they are truly interested in everyone's feelings and opinions. 
While they may not be active readers, they do get the message.  

May Lee (Ms. Purple!!) is in contact with Jeff Lindstrom who
is Jon's brother (Kevin Collins/Ryan Chamberlain, GH).  Jeff had seen
her General Hospital World Wide Web Page, and has sent Jon some
printouts of it.  Jeff is now posting to r.a.t.s., and May will 
be visiting the GH set later this fall (1994), and hopes to interest 
some of TPTB in the internet.  Apparently she did, because Mark
Przybyszewski (r.a.t.s.-er) was on the Suzanne Somers show in
December'94, and asked Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie, GH) if the writers and 
actors were reading what we have to say.  She replied that yes, the 
writers, producers, and some actors lurk on r.a.t.s.  She also replied 
that it's gotten to be a big opinion about plot lines.  May has
recently (March 1995) also spoken at length with Wendy Riche, the 
executive producer, about both the GH WWW page and the newsgroup.

Jamie Howarth, who does music for OLTL, is a regular reader of r.a.t.s.  
He told this to the OLTL followers in early January 1994 in a r.a.t.s. 
post where he asked if anyone had any comments about the New Year's Eve 
show because "we" worked hard on it.  This of course led ratsers to ask 
if he was connected to the show, and he reluctantly revealed himself, as 
he believes the r.a.t.s section is for the enjoyment of viewers, not
insiders.  Larry Storm's daughter (OLTL) occasionally posts as well.
Timothy Stickney (RJ, OLTL) posted to r.a.t.s.a. in November 1996,
and said he regularly reads and enjoys the group.

Gary Warner, author of the AMC Scrapbook, and poster to,
wrote "...I do know of several execs, writers and actors that
do read r.a.t.s and the BB's on AOL and *P*. You provide a wonderful 
and nearly instantaneous window into what viewers are thinking about 
the soaps."  So there you have it - we're famous! :-)

If anyone else has proof that the writers (or actors!) of their soap
reads r.a.t.s.*, please email me (

compilation copyright 1994-1999, Margaret D. Gibbs.  Use and 
copying of this information are permitted as long as (1) no fees 
or compensation are charged for use, copies or access to this 
information, and (2) this copyright notice is included intact.

Margaret D. Gibbs		"Practice random kindness and 		 senseless acts of beauty"

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