What’s a troll? We all have images of them living in the forests and glens like under bridges, usually ugly old fat men who scare the crap out of everyone, although all they want is a little food or booze. There are companies that even specialize in making garden trolls, some of which are collector’s items. They are thought to be based on Norse mythology and possessed magical abilities although nobody knows where the word “troll” came from. The English ogre is very close to the same depictions of trolls although dwarfish. In the U.S. we have our Sasquatch and “Hairy Man,” usually giants. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a Hollywood depiction of the smaller, nicer ogre style. As an aside, the trolls usually steal the princess, but picky, picky … it’s arguably the most famous movie in the world.
But an Internet troll that’s a different thing. These are anonymous people who flame on forums and blogs so as to bait people into a fight. The word is probably based on the word “trolling” such as the method of fishing. Everybody does it, including yours truly here, although some people have made a reputation of making themselves “trollish” because of their constant negativity. The most famous Internet troll was Snopes, the guy who took it on himself to be a fact-checker and creator of what we now call urban legends.
Why do I bring this up? I’m not having any troll problems on this blog, although others such as Sandy Feet and Island Voice have had their share of “cyber-snipers” from time to time. But over on Jason’s SPI Forum it is Troll City. Suffice it to say it is intensely political. If I had to pick a representative from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs it would be Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy, and whoa, there’s even a girl like Grumpy!