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IRC Private Messages

You can conduct private,
real-time conversations across the Internet with another
user on an IRC channel with the following

  • Basics. You can send a private message to another user with the “/msg” command, followed
    by the user’s name and the message. This message will show up on the other person’s
    computer only, and not be echoed to other users on the channel. Your message
    will be marked as a private message with your name surrounded by “*” instead
    of the brackets usually used for public messages. For example, the following

    /msg Steve what type of bike is it?


    *john* what type of bike is it?

    If you want to have a private conversation with another user, the polite thing to do is to ask them
    one or two questions, and then not to bother them if they decline or don’t answer. If they do want to talk, they will /msg you back, and you can carry on a private conversation. You can have more than one private conversation at the
    same time.

  • /invite. If you want to ask a user to join you in
    another channel, use the “/invite command, which will send the user a message
    asking them if they want to join you in the indicated channel.

    /Invite john #politics

  • /query. Use the “/query” command to specify that every message you type should be directed to a single user.

    /query john

    If the other
    user also specifies a “/query” command to you, then all of the messages you type
    will be displayed only to each other. You can still monitor the ongoing public
    conversations in the channel.

    Use the “/query” command by itself to turn
    off the private channel.

  • /query

  • Options. You can message several people at once by separating their names with commas.

    /msg Steve,Jane can you use whole-wheat flour?

    Some programs let you use the “/m” abbreviation for “/msg”..

    /m elvis hello there

    The “/notice” command is the
    same as “/msg” except that the message will be contained in dashes, which will
    prevent a response from most robots.

    /notice Steve what
    type of bike?


    -john- what type
    of bike?