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The Chat Cafe
Chat Guide

Chat is one of the most popular forms of Internet communication, allowing people to converse through their keyboards in real-time.  It's an excellent way to make friends and discuss news and business, right from the comfort of your computer.   Below you will find extensive help on several chat-related topics.

[ basics | rules | 'netiquette ]
  [ acronyms | emoticons | terminology ]
[ trouble shooting | reporting users ]


To use the LEOnet chat room, you must have a Java enabled browser or an IRC client. Most current versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer are java enabled. To connect via IRC, please point your client at irc.leonet.co.uk and join us in the #ChatCafe.

You can enter a chat room on LEOnet simply by clicking the link to the Chat Cafe from the homepage or by clicking a drop-down menu link from anywhere on the site. When you click the link, a new web page will open and a chat window will appear. Enter the name you want to appear as in the Nick Name box, and then click OK.  After a second, you will be connected.

To send text into the chat room, type in the lower box and hit enter on your keyboard. The text will appear in the larger box above, called the chat window.  You can see who else is in the chat room by looking at the vertical box listing participants.  When you send text to the room, you are conversing with other chatters in real time!


The chat room rules at LEOnet are simple. They are governed by the fact that our chat rooms are open to chatters of all ages, and the philosophy that we want everyone to feel welcome at LEOnet at all times. Thus, the rules are as follows:

  • No profanity, no participant or host harassment, no adult topics, no ASCII art (text-based graphic images), no scrolling, and no typing in all capital letters.

We rely on members of our community to be responsible and responsive to the few rules that keep the LEOnet chat rooms enjoyable for all. In the event of a dispute regarding chat room behaviour, the decision of LEOnet and/or its emissaries is final.


Chat room etiquette is a strange beast developed over the history of the Internet and adopted by acclamation.  It's rules are few, but if you breech them someone will be sure to let you know!

1/ It is customary to precede an question or comment targeted to a specific person with that person's name; in busy chat rooms, it is otherwise difficult to conduct a conversation!

2/ Typing IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS is considered shouting, and is severely frowned upon.

3/ Scrolling (sending one character or word per line, or transmitting the same text repeatedly) disrupts the flow of conversation and is an abuse of other peoples' band-width.

4/ The transmission of ASCII art (graphic images created with text characters) also disrupts the flow of conversation and is an abuse of other peoples' band-width.

5/ Because typing in all capital letters is considered to be shouting, and therefore rude, it is common to emphasize words by setting them off with *asterisks* instead.


Acronyms are a central part of chat room dialogue, since they convey full sentences, thoughts, or responses in a few letter and make for faster communication.  Common acronyms are as follows:

LOL = Laughing Out Loud
ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion
BTW = By The Way
AFK = Away From Keyboard
BBL = Be Back Later
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now
YOYOW = You Own Your Own Words
LAT = Lovely and Talented
A/S = Age/Sex; an inquiry of someone's age and gender.
IRL = In Real Life, i.e. not on the 'net.
WYSIWYG = ("wizee-wig") What You See Is What You Get


Emoticons are little faces typed out to express emotions; turn your head sideways to see the face.  They are varied and often amusing, but the basic ones are here:

:o) Happy Face :o( Sad Face :oO Shock :oP Sticking Out Tongue


Moof: To be spontaneously disconnected from the Internet or dropped from a chat channel.

Lag: To experience a delay in transmission of data.   The sending of your text or the arrival of someone else's text in the chat window can be delayed by a few seconds, causing your conversation to be slightly out of sync.

Flame: To express displeasure when someone is impolite, offensive, or breeches Internet etiquette. An ongoing exchange of flames in chat or BBS postings is known as a "flame war." Flaming is discouraged at LEO.

Trouble Shooting

If you experience lag (see above), disconnecting your modem and reconnecting to the service will often clear the problem.

If you cannot connect to a room via IRC, please check that you are trying the right address.You can also try the chat room in our embedded Java windows to make sure it is operational. Just click on the link for the Chat Cafe.

If you receive an error message while connecting to a Java chat room, make sure you are using an up-to-date version of Internet Explorer or Netscape. Your browser must support Java technology.

If the chat room fails to open, please report the chat room to the Chat Cafe Forum Manager.

Reporting Users

If you experience harassment or inappropriate behaviour in a LEOnet chat room, you can contact the Chat Cafe Forum Manager and report the chatter via email.

Check Out...
The Chat Cafe
The Chat Cafe is always open for relaxing conversation with new friends - bring your own coffee!

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