I always wonder ...

Alvin ONeal Alvin.ONeal at gmail.com
Mon Dec 22 21:28:08 CET 2008

> What really is a troll?
*troll* /v.,n./

[From the Usenet group *alt.folklore.urban <news:alt.folklore.urban>*] To
utter a posting on
Usenet<http://www.ccil.org/jargon/jargon_36.html#TAG1882>designed to
attract predictable responses or
flame <http://www.ccil.org/jargon/jargon_21.html#TAG642>s. Derives from the
phrase "trolling for
which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which
one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The
well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to
make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly
conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate
troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it.

Some people claim that the troll is properly a narrower category than flame
bait <http://www.ccil.org/jargon/jargon_21.html#TAG643>, that a troll is
categorized by containing some assertion that is wrong but not overtly
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