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Right. Confession time. When we put this site together, we did it purely for our own amusement. It made us laugh. Rather disturbingly, it turns out that a number of individuals, especially in unexpected parts of the world (hello, Estonia and Finland), share our somewhat partisan sense of humour. Either that or they can't believe how bad the site is and keep returning to confirm their worst thoughts. Anyway, the point is that we know our way around our own site (which doesn't necessarily follow, given that we have been known to forget the way home) but not everyone will find it easy to negotiate their way through the rather organic nature of the place, so we've thoughtfully provided a site map for you.

We also realise that the affectionate nicknames we use on our motorsport pages may be a little impenetrable at times. To help alleviate this problem, we've added a few translation assistants - MANTA, TIGRA and the souped-up TIGRA 16v - so that if you come across a name you can't decypher, help is at hand. TIGRA does all the work for you but can slow down response times, while MANTA allows you to translate at the click of a mouse - just look for the MANTA button. These helpful utilities are available on all motorsport pages where aliases are used. We're always thinking of you, our readers.

To help you track down that amusing snippet to share with your mates, there's a handy search facility just a click away. Caught up in the dizzying frenzy of coming up with acronyms based on Vauxhalls and/or Opels, the technical department decided to call this useful feature ASTRA. See below for details.

Frequently asked questions
According to the First Law of the Internet, any web site worthy of the name has to have a list of frequently asked questions, so it is perhaps fitting that it's taken dotdotdotcomma over three years to produce one. Hope you think it was worth the wait.

Every page has a link to the Preferences window, in the menu bar at the top of the page. Clicking on this link will conjure up the Preferences window, where you can customise the site according to your tastes. Each option is fully explained in the Preferences window itself.

MANTA (Motorsport Affectionate Nickname Translation Assistant)
If you're confused by some of the names we use on the motorsport pages, it's your lucky day. Using MANTA, you can translate those affectionate nicknames into the real name of the driver, team principal, circuit or whatever. And the beauty of it is that it works both ways.

As an example, if you search for the whole string "mike salon", you'll find that it's an alias of Mika Salo. If you search for each word of "mike salon", you'll find not only Mika Salo but Michael Schumacher too because "Mike Cobbler" is one of the many affectionate nicknames by which we know him. You can also search for "david coulthard" to see the legion of pseudonyms under which David will appear on these pages.

If you feel you need to, you can leave the translator window open in the background while you browse other pages.

Click here to open the translator.

TIGRA (Tooltip Indicator for Getting Realnames from Aliases)
Maybe, if you're as lazy as we are, MANTA sounds too much like hard work, in which case TIGRA is for you. TIGRA highlights the first occurrence of any alias within a news item, so that they are easily visible. If you then hover your mouse over the highlighted alias, a tooltip appears that contains the real name of the person/team/thing and a description of that person/team/thing, in case you're still in the dark, a bit like this:
Ploduar has categorically denied rumours that it is considering replacing rookie driver Anchovy Pizza, making Anchovy look about as secure as a football manager told that he has "the full backing of the board".
Of course, you get nothing for free in this life, and TIGRA is no exception. You may notice a slight delay before the news item appears, which is a necessary corollary of having TIGRA do all the hard work for you. If your internet connection is on the slow side or if you like to view several items at once, this delay may become unacceptable, in which case you may like to know that TIGRA can be switched off (and, indeed, back on again) in the Preferences window.

TIGRA 16v (Tooltip Indicator for Getting Realnames from Aliases, with the power of 16 valves)
Sometimes the standard-spec TIGRA tooltip simply isn't enough and you need TIGRA 16v, the tooltip with flared wheel-arches and a big exhaust. TIGRA 16v works in a slightly different way from TIGRA, in that you need to click the alias, rather than just hover over it, but it displays much more information.

Not all aliases are 16v-enabled but you can tell a 16v alias from a standard one in at least three ways: (i) it has a dotted underline, (2) the mouse pointer changes when you hover over it, and (c) the words "[Click name for more info]" appear at the end of the tooltip.

For instance, in the following extract, "Sebastien Beaujolais" is a standard TIGRA tooltip, while "Lollo Rosso" is 16v-enabled:
Stroppy french makeweight Sebastien Beaujolais is urging his Lollo Rosso bosses to make their mind up about his future at the team before the end of the season.
The more observant of our readers will notice that the text in TIGRA 16v actually comes from VECTRA, the dotdotdotcomma motorsport encyclopaedia, and it won't take the very cleverest of our readers long to realise that 16v-enabled aliases are thin on the ground simply because those indolent editors haven't written that many VECTRA entries yet.

ASTRA (Advanced Search for Text, Realnames and Aliases)
No site is complete without a search facility but, of course, here at dotdotdotcomma we couldn't just call it something straightforward like "Search".

ASTRA allows you to search for text in the areas you specify. Nothing unusual there. However, dotdotdotcomma is a strange and wonderful place, with very much its own ideas on naming conventions. If, for instance, you remember that a news item you liked concerned Alain Prost but you're not sure whether we called him "Alan Frogst", "Alan Frost" or something even more daft, simply select "Alain Prost" from the dropdown and ASTRA will search for all occurrences of that name and all its associated aliases.

Every page has a link to the search window, in the menu bar at the top of the page. Click here to open ASTRA.

Contacting us
Mathias Olaf Uncertain as he is usually
seen, clutching a pint and a burger dotdotdotcomma is the work of a large and well-fed team but many of them prefer to remain anonymous. The editors have no such qualms, however, and can be contacted at the click of a mouse.Virgil Ellipse demonstrating his astounding
ability to sleep while standing up
Mathias Olaf Uncertainmathias@dotdotdotcomma.com
Virgil Ellipsevirgil@dotdotdotcomma.com

Fancy contributing something?
Not so long ago we were inundated with unsolicited suggestions and articles. We're happy to say that both submissions came up to the required standard and were added to the dotdotdotcomma canon. Our Watford correspondent got some bile off her chest in the Spleen Vent room, while George from Lincoln suggested a look-alike that had escaped our attention.

If you'd like to contribute to the site and feel that you can match the lofty journalistic standards set by the bunch of untrained, part-time chancers known as our editorial team, send something to subeditor@dotdotdotcomma.com and we may be able to use your work.

Much as we'd like to be in a position to offer some financial inducement, the only reward for your efforts will be knowing that you have added a single brick, or perhaps just a thin layer of mortar, to the shining edifice that is dotdotdotcomma.

Delete this site from the internet
If all the above helpful hints and options have failed to satisfy you, it may be that the whole dotdotdotcomma website just doesn't work for you. And if it doesn't work for you, chances are that lots of other people are having the same problem. You could make your life, and therefore everybody else's life, infinitely less confusing by simply deleting this website from the internet. In its entirety. Forever. Click here to delete this site from the internet.

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