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To Get It Right, Learn the Rules

January 10, 2002|MICHELLE MALTAIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

From games to driving to conducting business, there are rules of engagement.

One place to start is Everyrule.com (www.everyrule.com). It covers games (for kids, cards, casinos and computers, among others), etiquette and a few other topics (not quite every rule in the universe as it suggests).

Each week, the site delves into all sorts of news about rules, offering updates on changes, interpretations and violations in the rules of sports and other activities.

On the style front, you can check out the rules of fine writing at www.bartleby.com/141. There, you'll find the full 1918 version of "Elements of Style," a handbook for honing English language skills.

One set of rules most L.A. commuters could use a refresher on can be found at golocalnet.com/st /california/index.html. The online study guide on road rules covers signage, pavement markings and right of way. Yes, it is illegal to cross double yellow lines, except when turning left, say, into a driveway.

With random acts of patriotism popping up all over the country these days, you might want to check out www.ushistory.org /betsy/flagetiq.html before putting another American flag anywhere.

Before you call a meeting to order you might want to check the standard for most meetings, Robert's Rules of Order, at www .constitution.org/rror/rror--00 .htm. It covers how to accept motions, from incidental to privileged.

Now that you have your meetings in hand, you can deal with what you're holding. If you find yourself in a tangle because you and another player differ on the rules of your gin rummy game, you can call a timeout and click on www.pagat.com.

For one set of rules that could make or break your road trip, check out www.theshotgunrules .com and members.aol.com/jgruf /shotgun.html.

Many folks consider sitting in the front passenger seat, or "riding shotgun," a prize. These lists could help with the fairness question in claiming that prime seat. (Hey, if someone's hand already is on the door, it's too late to call shotgun.)

Impress your friends by making the call on every major sport--and ice hockey. A good place to start is www.eteamz.com. In addition to the Eteamz site, you can click on nfl.com/randf/index.htm l#rules for football, www.mlb.com /nasapp/mlb/mlb/baseball_basics /mlb_basics_foreward.jsp for baseball, www.basketball.com/nba/rules/index.shtml for basketball and nhl.com/hockeyu/rule book for hockey.

And Little League Baseball is hardly child's play. Age isn't the only qualification. Check out www.littleleague.org for the details.

Speaking of game playing, there's one social activity for which the rules seem to constantly change: dating. Check out www.datingtodumping.com. It offers such insightful mandates as "Never go whitewater rafting on a first date."

You can find one take on the rules governing male behavior at www.guyrules.com. For instance, one guy writes that it is not acceptable to ridicule a buddy for saying "I love you/I love you too" if his girlfriend is really hot or extremely cool.

*

Michelle Maltais is a multimedia producer at The Times. She can be reached at michelle.maltais@la times.com.

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