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The Proletariat Congress

Troll – What is in a name?

trollWords take on different meanings over time. One such word is the word ‘troll’.

The Oxford Dictionary gives two definitions for it:

verb 1 fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat. 2 chiefly Brit. walk; stroll.

noun 1 an act or instance of trolling. 2 a line or bait used in trolling.

In the advent of the internet and forums, the meaning of troll and trolling has taken on a whole new definition. One which doesn’t have neutral connotations to it. According to Urban Dictionary, a troll is:

One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. ‘you’re nothing but a fanboy’ is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevance to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.

Common usage of the term trolling fits more into the contemporary definition provided by the Urban Dictionary than that found in the Oxford Dictionary. At least when it comes to usage on the internet. One is often careful in throwing that word around. No one wants to be accused of “being a troll”. Which brings up the next interesting point, why would journalist opt to use the term “troll the internet” in an article? An article, which is, ironically, published on the internet.

Makhniashvili followed up on bizarre tips, and continues to troll the Internet, scrutinizing websites, blogs and news reports. Any morsel of useful information, he passes on to investigators.

The Mariam mystery: We live in hope, says father

Given its connotations, it seems rather out of place. A better phrase would have been to “trawl the internet”. It doesn’t run the risk of double entendre the way troll does. Before this morning, the extent to which I understood “to troll” was rather limited. My definition was on par with that in Urban Dictionary, and mythology. I had to do my research. Something the Star journalist should have done.

Posted by Bianca on October 26th, 2009 No Comments

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Aside for being known for his dark, bleak prose, notably The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe was also known for his ability to correctly spell the words he used in his poetry. It is a sad testament to his memory that the journalist who was selected to write the story on the better late than never funeral given to the poet couldn’t be bothered to ensure that the man’s name was spelled correctly.


Posted by Bianca on October 11th, 2009 No Comments

Champions Online: Typos

I’ve played a number of different MMOs, and over the years have noticed different typos and spelling errors in quest dialogue boxes and in mission briefings. Today, while playing Champions Online, I was standing around, waiting for a certain object to manifest, when I noticed the following dialogue from a nearby ARGENT henchmen pop up:

Dialogue Box

Instead of being spelled as ‘Millennium City’, which would have been correct, it showed up as ‘Mellenium City’. At first I thought it was just my imagination, so I paid no mind. After flying around the area for a bit, I saw it again and knew it wasn’t just my imagination.

I could report this, but it’s so insignificant to the overall game, that I am not going to. Instead, I’m just granting it immortality in the depths of my blog, where other notable errors have been recorded over time.

Until the day there is no more bad spelling, Mitra will go on fighting bad spelling in her quest to rid the world of evil.

Posted by Bianca on October 5th, 2009 No Comments

Attention to Detail: The Star Editors Miss the Point

It has become increasingly apparent that in this day and age, checking over every last detail in an article before sending it out to the presses is becoming a thing of the past. Where have the days gone when journalists and their editors nitpicked over the tiniest details? When they would not let the smallest errors slip by? Seems in this day of Tweets and instant messages, there is no time for attention to detail. As evidenced by the article below that I found in today’s Toronto Star.

One would have thought that a case as widely publicized as the Rengal case that the journalists would have been able to at least spell the name of the victim correctly. Alas, this isn’t the case.

So, Toronto Star, which spelling is it? The one in the first caption, or the one in the second caption? Judging by the first mention of the name, it would be the second spelling. Too bad your editors don’t have the best attention to detail. If they did, you wouldn’t need to have the “Report Error or Complaint” link in this article. Or, for that matter, in any other article because you would have researched your facts and you would have got it correct the first time.

Posted by Bianca on September 29th, 2009 No Comments


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