Proponents of such acronyms encouraging new users to look the information up themselves are often discouraging questions that could easily be answered using the FAQs, Wiki or Google.
RTFM frequents questions that common sense should have precluded asking.
Some may choose to reply in this fashion rather than leaving the newbie without a response so as to clarify what types of questions are considered inappropriate, unintelligent or inconsiderate of others' time.
originally: "read the field manual" used by WWII soldiers when asked basic questions by new enlistees.
rtfm quickly spread to engineering, computer & technical fields, and has gained popularity with internet usage.
its applicability has increased dramatically with the advent of wiki, where the answer is already at everyone's fingertips.
rookie: how am i supposed to clean this m1?
veteran: read the field manual.
noob: how do i install linux?
1337: rtfm @ linux.org/docs/beginner/install.html
polite usage that will increase likelihood of a helpful response:
newbie: how do i...? i have already rtfm.
Read the fucking manual
Kid 1 "How do you side jump like that."
Kid 1 "Whats RTFM?"
Me "Read The Fucking Manual, what are you dumb?"
Kid 1 "Sorry if I don't use internet slang in everyday life."
Rest of class "LOL"
"Rolling on the floor masturbating."
"C'mon Dan, RTFM!"
"Do you even know what that means?"
"Yeah, Rolling on the Floor masturbating!"
read the fucking manual
"I can't make the shelf."
According to Michael Swaim in the video "Agents of Cracked" episode 5 RTFM refers to "Rolling on the Floor Masturbating"
Dude I was home alone yesterday so I totally RTFMed
Read The Fucking Manual!
- How can I turn on the TV?
- RTFM, dumbass!
Ruining The Furniture Masturbating
I'd really like to invite you in, but i RTFMed the place.