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How To Write A Bulletin

How to Send Good Bulls


Welcome to Teach Yourself Bulletin-Writing! Here are some simple rules to
help you in the gentle art of bulletin-writing.


TITLE/SUBJECT
-------------
This is very important, as it is the first thing that users will see of your
bulletin. Titles like "PLEASE READ" or "URGENT MESSAGE" are ideal, though
something like "A345/23 D cct wanted" is also quite acceptable. On no
account give any clear indication as to what the bulletin is actually about.
Appeal to people's curiosity; after all, they've got all day to browse
through the bulletins!

Alternatively, you can mention someone's callsign in the title, but in a way
which implies that you are insulting them even if you aren't.


LETTER CASE
-----------
always type in lower case, and do not use any capitals anywhere in a
sentence, (not even at the beginning), as this looks inconsistent and
untidy. abbreviations like rsgb, dti, pc etc. look much nicer in lower case.

ALTERNATIVELY, USE UPPER CASE THROUGHOUT, AS THIS CAN GIVE THE IMPRESSION
YOU ARE SHOUTING, SO WILL HAVE MORE IMPACT!


PUNCTUATION
-----------
Do not litter your bulletin with messy punctuation but just let the prose
flow without any cumbersome and unnecessary interruption there is also the
added benefit that the person reading the bull will be totally unable to
pause for breath and so will continue to read going more and more purple in
the face until they foam at the mouth and fall over backwards which you
might enjoy if you dont like them


WORD WRAP
---------
Do avoid the temptation to neatly wrap text around at the end of the line;
just carry on typing without pressing «Return». The other guy won't mind
downloading your bulletin into a text editor or word processor so he can then
set the linelength to 77
characters or something like that. After all, what's the use in having all
these fancy bits of software if you can't use them?


LINE LENGTH
-----------
A exception to this rule applies if
you have one of these extra special
superior terminals or micros with a
40-column display.



Then, the trick is to start a new
line every 37 characters or so, and
make up for it by leaving plenty
of space between paragraphs.



Short paragraphs are also pleasing.



Especially with no verbs.



This won't cause any problems for
anyone wanting to print your
bulletin on a printer; all they've
got to do is load it into a word
processor and set it into two
columns - easy!

If you want to really show off your skills, why not try and combination of
word wrap and short line lengths,
to give a very appealing look
which people will find really interesting to look at. This takes some
practice, so don't try this until
you've got really accomplished
at some of the other effects.


LINE SPACING
------------
A nice little trick is to use double-line spacing on all your text so that

there is plenty of room for the reader to add notes of their own after

printing it out. Don't worry about it taking up more paper, as the other guy

can always turn it round and use both sides - no problem.


SPELLING
--------
This is verry inpotant indede, as allthogh most peeple make quiet a lot off
speling misteaks, specally when typin 'live', it takes reel feeness to make
a poper job off it and spel at leest fife words rong inn ever sentenc. No
one wil mind, and in fakt most peeple enjoy figyurin out wot the wordz where
supposed too be in the ferst plaice.


GRAMMAR
-------
Well this is a tricky one really. To boldly split infinitives is a good
idea. And to start a sentence with a conjunction is too. Sentences also look
better. With no verbs. Messing with the order word about also nice looks. It
isn't terribly unlike a good idea to use double-negatives and things of that
nature.


CONTENT
-------
No hard and fast rules here. However, it helps if you type your bulletin
very last at night, when you are tired and irritable, or when you've
staggered home from the pub after drinking eleventeen pints of fizzy lager.
Don't bother to verify any information, but shoot from the hip and tell all
those wallies what you think of them - you're entitled to your opinion
aren't you? They're always having a go at you, and if there's one thing you
can't stand, it's intolerance!


EQUIPMENT
---------
A 40-column monitor or an old TV with a fuzzy picture will do nicely. In
most cases using a word-processor is a no-no, as it tends to prevent you
achieving most of the wonderful effects I have demonstrated. Also, it's
better to type 'live' so that the text soon scrolls off the screen, and you
forget what you said earlier in the bull. It comes across as being more
natural and spontaneous this way.
===========================================================================

Well, I hope that gives you a few ideas for your own bulletins. You rarely
see many of these techniques used together, though most of us use one or two
of them, such as bad spelling. However, you do occasionally come across
bulletins which employ many or even most of these techniques, and if you
come across one you will truly be in the presence of genius!




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