[Ads-l] to troll

David Champion dgc.ads at BIKESHED.US
Tue Oct 25 15:19:04 EDT 2016

* On 25 Oct 2016, Neal Whitman wrote: 
> Further information on this topic: https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/youve-been-trolled/

I was a denizen of alt.Usenet in 1992, and I endorse this message.

The modern usage of "troll" has a tenuous connection to the trolling
of that period – it's an extension of the idea, but I find it's
more negative now.  In my observation at the time, more often than
"trolling for newbies" it was the sport of drawing out self-righteous
and indignant responses from people who had shown a propensity for it,
getting them to make poor showings in public on someone else's terms.
A troll always had identifying cues, and it was focused on people who
should have known better.

Today trolling seems to mean little more than intentionally, artlessly,
and without subtlety making someone angry.  It still has the quality
of serving a group of insiders at someone else's expense, but I rarely
sense that the troll is singularly baiting someone to highlight their
personality traits.  Anyone could get upset at today's trolls, if not
for the advice not to feed them.

David Champion • dgc at bikeshed.us

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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