Plural Etiquette Questionnaire
This questionnaire was created by Hungry Ghosts. We decided it would be a good idea to include this because we have noticed some people seem to have questions about how to interact with us, and also we worry that we may come across as indimitating. So this is here if anyone has any questions about interacting with us haha
1. What do you go by collectively?
Just "Anomaly" usually works, or more formally "Team Anomaly" (though the Team format is phasing out in our system). "Virtual Pet(s)" also works because that's typically a group username we use.
2. How should people refer to you?
Individually whenever possible is preferred. Though, we have been blurring a lot at the time of writing this, so right now it's a good idea to assume multiple people are fronting, but hopefully that will change in the future as we try to get the front more solid.
3. What terms do you prefer for referring to yourselves as individuals, or as a group? Is there any other terminology for yourselves or aspects of your experience that you use and want people to know, or that you dislike and want people to avoid when talking about you?
Please refer to us as headmates or system members (or people), and collectively as a system.
When referring to fiction based system members, fictionkin or fictive is preferred (usually fictionkin moreso), and when referring to nonhuman system members, otherkin, therian or nonhuman (usually otherkin/therian moreso). Though in those cases, it's a good idea to mimic what a system member is using.
When referring to kids in our system, kid or hatchling is preferred to little, and teen to middle.
We also don't typically like -genic terms applied to us, but it's not too big a deal. Though if you can, please call us mixed-origin rather than "multigenic".
4. Who in your system are people most likely to interact with?
We also use a front card (which is currently a work in progress).
It is also worth noting that you may interact with people not in the system list, since in our system we do not require people to post themselves publicly. Fronters may also be anonymous for comfort or whatever reason.
5. Will people be interacting with any child members? How should they treat them? Is there anything they should know when interacting with them?
You may actually! We have a lot...
We try to signal either on our front card or Discord status when a kid is fronting. It's a good idea not to interact with them unless you know us well or they interact with you.
It's a good idea not to interact with them unless you know us well or they interact with you. If you need to say something to us, as long as it's appropriate for a kid it's okay to pass along a message, and it's also cool to say that you need to talk to an adult in the system (but please give a general idea of what you want to talk about so they don't get nervous).
When it comes to most websites, we'll try to follow their age restrictions, but the exception is if there's a community for space for system kids (or age regressors/similar). With petsites, our rule is they may still play on them even if they don't fit the age restrictions, but won't post in the forums or chats.
6. Are there any system members who are nonverbal or otherwise have difficulty communicating? What should others expect when speaking with them?
We do have a couple! In the event they are fronting or loosing verbility, they have a script to let people know. Some may have other members translate or they may use emoji/simple words. Some of us also struggle with communication in general.
Though if we don't respond to your message and we're online, most of the time it's because someone with communication difficulties is fronting.
It's also worth noting that in our case, we also go hyperverbal. For us going hyperverbal can also be a part of going nonverbal, and for some of us it's the stage right before completely loosing verbility, and sometimes also means the fronter is already nonverbal but relying on scripts. Usually our comprehension about what we/others are saying is low, so it can be although we/they're talking we/they're not registering anything. It can also be a sign of a panic attack.
7. What should people do if they don't know who's at front?
At the moment, assume we're blurring or rapid switching. We've been seriously struggling with that lately. At every other time though, it's a good idea to ask or check our front card.
8. Is it okay for people to ask if they can talk to someone who isn't at front at the moment?
Of course!! Sometimes we don't know who's fronting or the fronter wants to be anonymous, but we always appreciate people asking.
9. If someone talks to one of you, will other system members be aware of the conversation? Will they be actively watching, or just able to remember it later?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Some of the time what will happen is a different fronter will have a recollection of the conversation taking place, but not the details. We try to remember important discussions though. We also typically try to give fronters privacy, so it's unlikely someone will be actively watching. However, if you'd like to keep a conversation private, ask the fronter and they can ensure that it will be kept as such.
10. Adding onto the above – if multiple system members will be aware of a conversation, will they want to chime in? If someone wants to speak to a system member one-on-one, what expectations can they have and how should they communicate this?
We don't usually jump in when someone else is talking, but we may in group chats. Though as previously mentioned, we can make conversations completely private if need be and it's completely okay to ask the fronter to do so, even they can't always do so we can make an attempt.
In general with communicating with us though, it's just like talking to any other person. Seriously, we're not like the mythical systems of legends, systems are everyone and we're no different from talking with anyone else even if we sometimes use plural pronouns :p
11. How out are you? What should people do when talking to people who don't know you're plural?
Online? We generally make a point for people to know, so feel free to keep referring to us as a system.
Offline? Some people know some don't, if you're interacting with someone who knows us irl it's a good idea to ask us first, but most of our offline friends know. Ngl having a friend who can back us up is probably a good way to come out to someone.
We do have a "singletsona" and it's pretty much just Remy they/them if it ever comes up. If we ever call ourselves Remy, that's not anyone in our system, it's mostly just a "human name".
12. Do you have any internal communication difficulties, memory issues, switch triggers, etc that others should be mindful of?
Depends on which system members are/were fronting if there are any communication difficulties or memory issues. We don't have good memory in general though, so please don't be offended if we forget anything important.
Although, we do try to keep up good internal communication, so if you want to talk to someone not currently fronting it's okay to ask and we'll try to get them up.
In terms of switch triggers, most of them are sensory related and we try to keep our fronting triggers more controlled, so it shouldn't come up too much. Though certain interests may draw certain system members to front, it will typically wind up being them co-fronting/co-conscious rather than completely switching out if it pings them.
13. Your stance on being asked questions?
Go ahead!! We're a lot more out about being a system than most, and because of this we're more than used to being asked questions, and we also welcome them.
If a question is uncomfortable or too personal, we'll let you know, but the only hard no is usually medical questions or questions that would be invasive even for a singlet. But yeah feel free to ask us anything!
14. Is there anything else others should know?
We're all nonhuman and this is something we usually make a point of people knowing. Most of the time, we prefer alterhuman terminology.
Because we have a lot of different species in our system, note that blacklists that include certain species (insects are usually the biggest problem) may be an issue for our system. Sources can also be a problem.
Do not joke about killing insects around us. Seriously, we have a lot of insect therians, insecthearted, and insectlinks in our system, and these jokes get annoying. Please also don't call any of the species in our system creepy or weird. If you have an issue with a species, be polite about it, and don't add any extra comments about how gross someone's extra limbs are. You'd think we wouldn't have to say this, but.
We also aren't too active in the plural community anymore, and can be somewhat critical of the current state of it. Although we understand where it's coming from, we also don't condone the use of the term "sysmed" and do not support any plural flags. Though this is mostly intra-community drama.
15. If you have a FAQ or system site, feel free to link it here.
You're on it ;>