JPearce on IRC
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a type of written chat. IRC interaction is brief and often slightly out of sync with questions which are posed. Personally, I find the patterns of communication soemtimes irritating when people who see themselves as the center of the universe make comments that they find humorous. One advantage to this type of communication is that one can split one's attention and then read over the recent feed.
A useful set of IRC commands can be found at ircbeginner.com which is written for beginners.