Member Rara Avis
You can safely use either one, Marge. They are essentially the same. I hope I never ask the system to send out an URL that shouldn't be used, but your concern is certainly warranted.
Some people, incidentally, have asked why we don't mail the URL to the specific thread when someone replies - and this is precisely the reason. Going directly to a thread or even to a forum does not update your time/date cookies. It won't "corrupt" your cookies, but the lights and folders are guaranteed to get real confused.