What is a troll by the way? [offtopic]

Chad Netzer chad at vision.arc.nasa.gov
Fri Aug 20 20:32:39 EDT 1999

Robert Kern wrote:

> _Troll_ is a USENET term for someone that deliberately posts an
> inflammatory message simply to stir up argument.

I've found it funny to watch this term evolve over the past few years.
It started (I believe) as a reference to the fishing term, and used to
mean "trolling for flames" (ie. hoping to bring flames to the
discussion), perhaps employing "flame bait" for this purpose.

It is now used by many (I believe), as a derogatory reference to someone
being like an ugly, flesh-eating beast that lives under a bridge. :-)
And that calling someone a "troll" is simply meant to imply they are
contemptible for trying to incite flame wars (much like a Troll is
contemptible for, well, being a Troll).

Anyway, I personally like the first usage, and sometimes lament that
it is evolving toward the second.  I used the term "troller", rather than
"troll", but it is probably a lost cause. :-)

ob. python.  Tried "idle" for the first time today... Neat!


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