What does the dot mean? July 28, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

i've seen this in a few posts on the blue and the green, this one most recently. why are people commenting with just a . ?
posted by misanthropicsarah to MetaFilter-Related at 12:21 PM (138 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:23 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2006


(Curses!)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2006


Honestly, I was kind of itching for one of these. Been too long.
posted by cortex at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2006


Its for when people have a great deal to say about a topic, but don't want to take up a lot of space on the page, so they type it out, but compress it down really small, and that is the dot that you see there. If you copy and paste the dot into Word or something like that and increase the font, then it will reveal what they were saying. Not many people know that, so it is cool to ask.
posted by ND¢ at 12:25 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


What we need here is a moratorium.
posted by reklaw at 12:25 PM on July 28, 2006


We have discussed this in the FAQ. It indicates a moment of silence, MetaFilter-style.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:25 PM on July 28, 2006


The problem with the dots is that they convey virtually no information other than that their frequency in a given thread is a very rough reflection of the degree of fame of a given dead person.
posted by found missing at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by brownpau at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2006 [5 favorites]


brownpau's dot is for a REALLY famous dead person.
posted by inigo2 at 12:31 PM on July 28, 2006


They (the small ones) are best used at the end of a sentence describing something about that person.
posted by found missing at 12:31 PM on July 28, 2006


We're blocking the marquee tag now? :(
posted by brownpau at 12:32 PM on July 28, 2006


The problem with reason for the dots is that they convey virtually no information other than that their frequency in a given thread is a very rough reflection of the degree of fame of a given dead person.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:32 PM on July 28, 2006


What we need is a natatorium.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:36 PM on July 28, 2006


Who's agitating my dots? Are you agitating my dots?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:38 PM on July 28, 2006


From now on, I decree that all dots link back to the wiki entry on dots.
posted by brownpau at 12:39 PM on July 28, 2006


&hearts would mean more.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by blue_beetle at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2006


.^^
posted by empath at 12:42 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by Cranberry at 12:44 PM on July 28, 2006


rats! .
posted by Cranberry at 12:45 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by brain_drain at 12:47 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's a very slow -and communal- morse code message saying "Here Come Dots."
posted by yeti at 12:47 PM on July 28, 2006


misanthropicsarah, the yellow dots posted by staggering jack and later (ha!) by Faint of Butt are links to what jessamyn posted. Cortex's comment is an indication of how Mefites love to pile on a noobie's innocence.
Anything else you would like to know?
posted by Cranberry at 12:51 PM on July 28, 2006


I'm just worried about what we're going to do when the internet runs out of dots. Will people here just stop dotting their "i"'s just so they can get their point across with a one dot post?

WHERE WILL IT END, PEOPLE?!?!
posted by inigo2 at 12:53 PM on July 28, 2006


it'd be so much cooler if what ND¢ said were true.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:56 PM on July 28, 2006


The bang (!) is reserved for celebrities who died from gunfire.

There's also a [!] next to each comment posted to MeFi, in case whatever the poster has said is so offensive that you want them to die. Clicking on it deploys a bullet to the brain of said commenter, and should only be used in emergency, or if like you had a really bad day and need to take it out on someone on the Internet but are too lazy/tired/beat to type out an angry and unprovoked screed.
posted by Eideteker at 12:59 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:01 PM on July 28, 2006


Anyone ever wish that all new members were sent an email detailing these things? And then had to have a test on them *before* being allowed to post?

Just me? bummer.
posted by FlamingBore at 1:08 PM on July 28, 2006


While we're on the topic, what is Metafilter and who are you people? Please summarize in under 100 words, and try not use use many that have more than two syllables.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 PM on July 28, 2006


What makes the Hottentots type dots?
posted by Floydd at 1:12 PM on July 28, 2006


Cranberry--I pressed your heart button over and over...could you feel it?
posted by OmieWise at 1:19 PM on July 28, 2006


That was the lab rat's heart. You just ruined 8 years of research data.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:22 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by jdroth at 1:25 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:25 PM on July 28, 2006


My dot blinks. Or it would if Matt weren't such a meanie.
posted by jdroth at 1:25 PM on July 28, 2006


My dot poops. Or it would if Matt weren't such a meanie.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:27 PM on July 28, 2006


My pot dupes. I tell them its kind bud, but it's the ditch weed, man, IT'S THE DITCH WEED.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on July 28, 2006


brownpau's dot is for a REALLY famous dead person.

it's not brownpau's dot.
posted by quonsar at 1:31 PM on July 28, 2006


Oh man! cortex is right. It has been a while.

Has anyone compiled a list of all the "what does the . mean?" threads?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:41 PM on July 28, 2006


This post is dangerous and must be deleted.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:42 PM on July 28, 2006


Is there a difference between a lab rat and a cubicle rat?
posted by OmieWise at 1:42 PM on July 28, 2006


brownpau writes "We're blocking the marquee tag now? :("

Yes, have been for a long time. Too bad too, the fish tank was awesome.

I wonder if the solution to the never ending "what is the dot" meta's is for everyone to link the . to the faq when posting. Even just the first few would help.

I could get behind FlamingBore's idea too.
posted by Mitheral at 1:47 PM on July 28, 2006


We'd probably get fewer of these if the page for posting a MetaTalk thread said something like, "Please check the FAQ page before posting."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:50 PM on July 28, 2006


misanthropicsarah, this is a thing that people ask from time to time, so it's become an inside joke.

So, people do stupid stuff all throughout the thread. Now, I think that the stupid stuff is rollicking good fun, personally, but you didn't do anything super stupid that warranted the degree of silliness. It's kind of like you said the secret word on Pee-wee's Playhouse, not a pileon.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:52 PM on July 28, 2006


And, in all fairness, if you can't handle this sort of nonsense, you may not yet be ready for MetafFilter. It can be a quite silly place.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:58 PM on July 28, 2006


Suggested template for all future obit postings:

Announcing the death of [insert name here]. Please post dots in this thread to let everyone know that you: a) care enough about this dead person to press one key; and/or b) hold an abiding fear of your own dotless demise. Please note, ironic dots are not appreciated. Please limit extraneous text; it makes everyone else look lazy.
posted by found missing at 1:59 PM on July 28, 2006 [3 favorites]


Adding a link to the faq on the metatalk posting page...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2006


Cortex's comment is an indication of how Mefites love to pile on a noobie's innocence.

True, but I meant it in the best possible way: I like the silly threads, and it has been a long time since we had, not a bash-the-newb thread, but a "what does the dot mean" thread.

Now, I think that the stupid stuff is rollicking good fun, personally, but you didn't do anything super stupid that warranted the degree of silliness. It's kind of like you said the secret word on Pee-wee's Playhouse, not a pileon.

Precisely. Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance, etc.

Has anyone compiled a list of all the "what does the . mean?" threads?

I almost asked the same thing. If anybody would like to do the research, I'll happily post it to refi.

I don't know how this thread got greenlit...

Greenlit? A tiny prescriptivist is standing on my shoulder, screaming terrible things.
posted by cortex at 2:18 PM on July 28, 2006


Anyone else sad that the sketchzilla animated dot is extinct? The "domain name expired on 07/17/2006 and is pending renewal or deletion." I guess there's always this.
posted by yeti at 2:20 PM on July 28, 2006


For me it has always symbolized one single perfect tear.

I think I'll stick with that.
posted by konolia at 2:21 PM on July 28, 2006


(cries)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2006


And for murder-suicides?

:
posted by cortex at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2006



















posted by blue_beetle at 2:41 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by brain_drain at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2006


God, I love that blood drip.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2006


I don't know how this thread got greenlit...
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:01 PM PST on July 28 [+] [!]

Greenlit? A tiny prescriptivist is standing on my shoulder, screaming terrible things.
posted by cortex at 2:18 PM PST on July 28 [+] [!]

So the correct form is greenlighted? ... [awaits the Hemingway-in-Hollywood alt-history style spoof "In a, Well, Greenlighted Place."]
posted by Tuwa at 3:01 PM on July 28, 2006


And hey, did you know that the spellchecker wants to turn "Mefi" into "Mafia," too?
posted by crunchland at 3:11 PM on July 28, 2006


it knows.
posted by quonsar at 3:24 PM on July 28, 2006


You got me, crunchland. For a moment I was going to answer your question. Then I read the name of the poster. Duh.
posted by raedyn at 3:24 PM on July 28, 2006


Metafilter: A very rough reflection of the degree of fame of a given dead person.
posted by Duncan at 3:28 PM on July 28, 2006


I tried to think of ways to search for the question - what does the (., dot) mean - not very satisfying. However, searching for the answer seems to work fairly well - moment of silence.
posted by Chuckles at 3:44 PM on July 28, 2006


Is there a reliable method for distinguishing the snarky/ironic/evil dots from the genuine dots? I feel this is an important issue. Seriously it can difficult sometimes to tell with actual comments, but those damn dots don't divulge much.
posted by econous at 3:49 PM on July 28, 2006


So the correct form is greenlighted?

Well, that's what the tiny prescriptivist is screaming. For raw Google hits, it's about even; the couple articles I saw mention both, though tend to headline the term as "greenlighted" or "green lighted" and mention greenlit as an alternate form. So it's not exactly clearcut.

I'd argue that "greenlighted" is more correct because greenlight is a compound—you don't treat the word "light" as an independent entity, and so the irregular conjugation light - lit doesn't apply, and instead you use the more general light - lighted rule.

To back that up, I'd cite other compounds that take generalized rules applied to the whole rather than the parts. The use of RBIs as a plural for RBI, for example: the source phrase, "run batted in", is pluralized as "runs batted in", but RBI as a special compound would not be pluralized as RsBI by any sane baseball fan; and the pedantic guy who argues that the plural of RBI should be RBI can stuff it, because that too sounds ridiculous.

The compound has rules applied to it as a novel entity, independent of the special rules that my apply to a constituent.

We order Whopper Juniors, we (mostly) refer to Attorney Generals, etc. I wish I could think of some good compound verbs to act as more closely-related examples to my "greenlighted" reaction, but it's Friday afternoon and my brain is mush.

And anyway, I'm mostly going off on a lark. I have no strong feelings or position of authority to justify a stance on greenlit, I just personally think it sounds ridiculous.
posted by cortex at 3:57 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by knave at 4:03 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by loquacious at 4:26 PM on July 28, 2006


Dots are the magnetic ribbons of MetaFilter. At least according to all the Attorneys General I know.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:41 PM on July 28, 2006


I just personally think it sounds ridiculous.

Agreed. A thread isn't "green-lighted" in MeFi land. You post a link, and like magic it appears instantly. No waiting for someone to approve or disapprove of what you wrote.

That's what MeTa is for... :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:10 PM on July 28, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "And, in all fairness, if you can't handle this sort of nonsense, you may not yet be ready for MetafFilter. It can be a quite silly place."


On second thoughts let's not go to Metafilter, 'tis a silly place...
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:18 PM on July 28, 2006


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posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:24 PM on July 28, 2006


.... . .-. . .----. ... .- .-.. .. - - .-.. . ... --- -. --. .. .-- .-. --- - . -.-- --- ..- -- .. --. .... - .-- .- -. - - --- ... .. -. --. .. - -. --- - . ..-. --- .-. -. --- - . -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- .. -. . ...- . .-. -.-- .-.. .. ..-. . .-- . .... .- ...- . ... --- -- . - .-. --- ..- -... .-.. . -... ..- - .-- .... . -. -.-- --- ..- .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- -.-- --- ..- -- .- -.- . .. - -.. --- ..- -... .-.. . -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -. --- .-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- .- .. -. .----. - --. --- - -. --- .--. .-.. .- -.-. . - --- .-.. .- -.-- -.-- --- ..- .-. .... . .- -.. ... --- -- . -... --- -.. -.-- -.-. .- -- . .- -. -.. - --- --- -.- -.-- --- ..- .-. -... . -.. -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- - .... . .-.. .- -. -.. .-.. --- .-. -.. ... .- -.-- -.-- --- ..- .-. .-. . -. - .. ... .-.. .- - . .... . -- .- -.-- .... .- ...- . - --- .-.. .. - .. --. .- - . -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- --..-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.-- --..-- -.. --- -. .----. - .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- --..-- -... . .... .- .--. .--. -.--
posted by Tuwa at 5:44 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by moonbird at 5:50 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 6:04 PM on July 28, 2006


Sinkhole Cat is killing commuters because you masturbate?
posted by Cyrano at 6:23 PM on July 28, 2006


A long time, indeed!


posted by absalom at 6:24 PM on July 28, 2006


*lights Zombie's green*







*waits*







*lights Zombie's green*







*waits*







*lights Zombie's green*







*waits*







*sighs*


*lights Zombi—motherfu....ZOMBIE, WHAT IS THIS SHIT?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:52 PM on July 28, 2006


Long faces. No places.

FPP? Yes. Reminds us all what harm some twits can do.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 7:06 PM on July 28, 2006


For those of you who cannot read Morse Code:

00100000 01110111 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110010 01100101 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 01101000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01111001 01100100 01100001 01111001 01110011 00101100 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 01110011 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110011 01101111 01101000 01100001 01110010 01100100 01110100 01101111 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100100 01101001 01110100 01110010 01101001 01100101 01100100 01110100 01101111 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100011 01101000 01100110 01101111 01110010 01111001 01101111 01110101 00101100 01100010 01110101 01110100 01111001 01101111 01110101 01101000 01100001 01110110 01100101 01100011 01101100 01101111 01110011 01100101 01100100 01111001 011- shit, can anyone lend me a zero key?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:17 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by TwelveTwo at 7:21 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:37 PM on July 28, 2006


If I LOL at a lame animated gif, am I to blame? Society? Tubes?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 7:46 PM on July 28, 2006


It's where the RSS feed grips the sides of the pages when it's printing.

It's a somewhat antiquated system.
posted by spiderwire at 7:54 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 7:55 PM on July 28, 2006


that's it! it's really the cabal of sinister psychic longshoremen from the United Fruit and Vegetables Local 529! they're to blame for everything!
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by psychobum at 8:03 PM on July 28, 2006


I hate all of you?
posted by Mid at 8:17 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by kindall at 8:20 PM on July 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm working on a PhD in dot theory, I'm pretty sure it's going to wipe those string-theory pansies off the map!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:22 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 8:25 PM on July 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


so... this thread is still open, huh?
posted by shmegegge at 8:36 PM on July 28, 2006


Yeah, I think kindall broke it pretty much wide open.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:37 PM on July 28, 2006


IIHAA, I just realised I want to be able to mark my favorite favorites from other users.
posted by Pigpen at 8:42 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2006


That +1 thing is kinda cool, eh? Thanks, matt.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2006


brownpau's dot is for a REALLY famous dead person.

no, it's for a dead elephant
posted by pyramid termite at 9:24 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by TwelveTwo at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2006


It still has its innocence!
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 10:09 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by thatweirdguy2 at 10:48 PM on July 28, 2006


Couldn't Matt just insert a "what's the deal with the dot?" link at the top of a page or the sidebar whenever the dottiness of an article exceeds N (say N > 2) and the user is new (within last 45 days, < 5 posts, etc.)?br>
Sinkhole cat is nice BTW.
posted by ldenneau at 10:56 PM on July 28, 2006


A dotometer?
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:11 PM on July 28, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:03 AM on July 29, 2006


dot013
posted by redsparkler at 12:04 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:05 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:07 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:08 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:09 AM on July 29, 2006


Just repeat to yourself:


"I am a dot. I am a dot. I am a dot. I am a dot."

This thread has achieved total dotosity.
posted by Eideteker at 12:09 AM on July 29, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by bob sarabia at 12:11 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:13 AM on July 29, 2006


I've got my "*" awaiting.

Please, God, just let me be the first to post when Vonnegut kicks it. I'm sure I'll be the toast of Metafilter then!
posted by sourwookie at 12:14 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 12:15 AM on July 29, 2006


so bob sarabia's puke&cry, huh?
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 AM on July 29, 2006


Or just a low down dirty theef.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:28 AM on July 29, 2006


Yup.


posted by bob sarabia at 12:34 AM on July 29, 2006


I'm secretly a socket pup!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:55 AM on July 29, 2006


Mathowie, please don't put a definition of the dot in the FAQ. Think of the children Mefites who will never again have an opportunity for silliness to show their posting skills.
Don't you just love theblink tag?
posted by Cranberry at 3:33 AM on July 29, 2006


Because 'a.' is my alias, obviously.
posted by a. at 4:05 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 4:51 AM on July 29, 2006


We need one of these threads every day.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:21 AM on July 29, 2006


I think someone needs to take Bob Sarabia's img tag away.
posted by crunchland at 6:22 AM on July 29, 2006


What would a Web 2.0 dot look like?
posted by emelenjr at 7:27 AM on July 29, 2006



posted by flashboy at 7:51 AM on July 29, 2006


Needs more shiny and rounded corners.
posted by loquacious at 8:32 AM on July 29, 2006


Hands up who likes me.
posted by nthdegx at 1:18 PM on July 29, 2006


I just realized what kindall's dot is.

Shame on you, kindall.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:00 PM on July 29, 2006


It's a slash dot. *Boomtish*. I kid you not.

(Kids... goats.... geddit?)
posted by nthdegx at 3:23 PM on July 29, 2006


Bob sarabia needs to be allowed an additional allocation of img tags. Especially for dancing gifs, gifs without Hoff.
I have my hand up nthdegx.. Not as smelly as you might imagine, and rather warm, though a little too damp for my arthritis. It will rain later.
posted by econous at 3:29 PM on July 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


TwelveTwo demands more custom Metafilter-themed images!
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:33 PM on July 29, 2006



posted by c:\awesome at 3:36 PM on July 29, 2006


It is teh awesomeness of threads like this that make MeTa fun once in a while :)
posted by Lynsey at 11:56 PM on July 29, 2006


I just realized what kindall's dot is. Shame on you, kindall.

Ah. Success.
posted by kindall at 12:46 AM on July 30, 2006


hooray!
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:02 AM on July 30, 2006



posted by Zack_Replica at 3:52 AM on July 30, 2006



posted by flabdablet at 6:05 AM on July 30, 2006


Eid wins.
posted by muddgirl at 9:37 AM on July 30, 2006


And it only took one image! Take that, pukey!

Muddgirl, you just justified me breaking out my Pete & Pete Season 1 DVD to take that screencap (after remembering how to disable hardware acceleration) at 3 AM.
posted by Eideteker at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2006



posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2006


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