2020-03-21 20:26:25 UTC
When searching for a newsgroup, for example, rec.aviation.military, one
may come across list of newsgroups each with a short description, in this
case "military aircraft of the past, present, and future". I would say
that is a statement of the group's "charter". I would say that a "topic"
is the subject of some particular thread within the newsgroup.
However, when someone starts a thread that may not be strictly within
a groups charter, they will sometimes label it "OT", which I presume
is an abbreviation of "off topic". Is there perhaps a better term?
I note that with google groups one starts a thread by clicking on the
box labeled "new topic"; how can a new topic possibly be off topic?
Of course, vox populi, vox dei. Like most users of natural language
I am flexible. I can accept that in this context off topic means
off charter, just as in Britain a public school is what Americans
would call a private school.