Baron von Skippy on 1 May 2003 01:32:01 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] Fwd: Re: Observers

-B Nomic, meet "deltanine," a.k.a. "sam nichols," a.k.a. "quarksbar9." Deltanine is quick to anger, quick to friendliness. Her attention span is pretty short, as is her temper. As you can no doubt guess, the "troll" (what is that, anyway?) is yours truly. If you'd like anything passed on, you who are observers, send it through me. I won't edit it or comment on it, and I'm not the one who tried to bring B Nomic down.

From Jargon File (4.3.0, 30 APR 2001):

troll v.,n. 1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a
   posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or
   flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for
   newbies" 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. See also YHBT. 2. An individual who chronically trolls in
   sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks
   to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than
to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that they have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are
   named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such,
   they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh,
   ignore him, he's just a troll." Compare kook. 3. [Berkeley] Computer
   lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties include
   helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed. Probably
   so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike corners.

   Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower
   category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing
   some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also

   The use of `troll' in either sense is a live metaphor that readily
   produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not
   infrequently sees the warning "Do not feed the troll" as part of a
   followup to troll postings.

-Ah, so I was close. That doesn't sound a lot like me. I'd say the term "bear" is more appropriate, as in "bear-bait," where a bear is chained and people poke it with sticks and spears until it dies. It's rather cruel to the bear.-


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