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What the hell do all those letters at the top mean?

On the ASC and ASCEM newsgroups, all posts come with a set of codes; these codes help the reader to decide if he/she wants to read a particular story. For the uninitiated, this can be really confusing, so I've decided to provide a beginner's list of commonly used codes... 

All stories in the archive, and on "Strange Fits of Passion", are rated according to this set of guidelines, and most of them use the characters codes as well.  Some of the newer stories may also have the acronym 'NASAL' which stands for 'not all sweetness and light', and it means that the story in question may be upsetting, or have an odd twist.  If a story has a kink, features BDSM, or has non-consensual sexual activity, I've added an additional disclaimer in the story summary.

Hopefully this will help; as with all things, read the disclaimers and summaries before you start to read any story...enjoy your journey!  If you have any questions, just ask!

This list of codes was taken from the ASC/ASCEM Formatting FAQ; many thanks to Stephen Ratliff and Ruth Gifford for publishing it on the newsgroups.

Still curious?  Need to know the whys and wherefors of slash?  I found a wonderful letter/FAQ response concerning slash.  It's from a "Blake's Seven" list, but I think that the answers are relevant for all slash writers and readers/non-readers.  Go read it here.

OrigSeries TOS
The Next Generation TNG
Deep Space 9 DS9
Character Codes
In general, codes are used like this: a regular character with a lower case 'm' or 'f' means that the second character is a new character, made up by the author.  Pairing codes are usually used in order of age, or if not known, in order of rank.  There are some exceptions (P/K/T, J/J), but most fans already know them...
C: Chekov 
K: Kirk 
Mc: McCoy 
S: Spock 
Su: Sulu 
U: Uhura 
C: Bev Crusher 
D: Data 
L: Lore 
La: LaForge 
P: Picard 
Q: Q  (original) 
R: Riker 
T: Troi 
W: Worf 
Wes: Wesley Crusher 
Y: Yar 
B: Bashir 
D: Dax 
Du: Dukat 
G: Garak 
K: Kira 
KO'B: Keiko
L: Leeta 
O: Odo 
O'B: O'Brien 
Q: Q (same 
   as TNG Q)
Qu: Quark 
R: Rom 
S: Sisko 
7: 7 of 9 
C: Chakotay 
D: Doctor 
J: Janeway 
K: Kim 
Kes: duh? 
N: Neelix 
P: Paris 
Q: Q (same
   as TNG Q) 
T: Torres 
Tu: Tuvok 

general audiences  not for young children not for pre-teens restricted to adults (18+) of Adult Nature (18+) not rated
Content & Coding
f/f: female with female
m/m: male with male 
m/f: male with female
A/U: Alternate universe (example: the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror")
non-cons: non-consensual activities, usually rape
d/s: dominance and submission 
b/d: bondage and discipline 
s/m: sadomasochism
bdsm: combination of the previous two
h/c: hurt and comfort (a character is hurt, another comforts them; if the hurt is graphic, most authors will say so in their intro)
no language, violence or adult themes language and mild violence heavier violence; mild sexual situations "vanilla sex"; excessive violence; won't offend most adults no minors, may offend some adults; BDSM and 
all others on the kinky list; graphic sex; extreme amounts of 
used for unusual situations, i.e. death of a character; 
when the author doesn't want to give away a plot point -- be prepared 
for anything!

* all TSU stories & most parodies on this site are not rated -- read with caution.