leaving Linux

Thomas 'Balu' Walter tw at itreff.de
Wed Jan 17 07:03:13 PST 2001

+-Gerard Beekmans-(gerard at linuxfromscratch.org)-[16.01.01 22:17]:
> Not to point blame, but can we please refrain from calling other people 
> names? That you don't agree is one thing, that you want to discuss and test 
> what they claim is another. That's all fine by me, but calling people names 
> it the limit. Let's be civil.

"Troll" is not calling someone names :)
"Troll" is a type of News-poster...

>From the Jargon-File:

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 the
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. 

BTW - I think he set off the "Troll-O-Meter" - see 



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