sbenthall's scrap blog
fetish (n.) 1610s, fatisso, from Portuguese feitiço ”charm, sorcery,” from Latin facticius ”made by art,” from facere ”to make” (see factitious).
Latin facticius in Spanish has become hechizo ”magic, witchcraft, sorcery.” Probably introduced by Portuguese sailors and traders as a name for charms and talismans worshipped by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa. Popularized in anthropology by C. de Brosses’ ”Le Culte des Dieux Fétiches” (1760), which influenced the word’s spelling in English (Frenchfétiche, also from the Portuguese word). Figurative sense of “something irrationally revered” is American English, 1837.
Any material image of a religious idea is an idol; a material object in which force is supposed to be concentrated is a Fetish; a material object, or a class of material objects, plants, or animals, which is regarded by man with superstitious respect, and between whom and man there is supposed to exist an invisible but effective force, is a Totem. [J. Fitzgerald Lee, “The Greater Exodus,” London, 1903]
For sexual sense, see fetishism Fetish ~ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=fetish (via vajramrita)
Excerpted from Golder, 2003
4.7 The Troll
Jennie Jackson and Aula recognized the prescribe d behavior for dealing with a Troll. Rusty Martin observed that others might mistakenly think he is a Troll. Who is this ubiquitously recognized, yet reviled figure? The Troll is a master of “identity deception” (Donath 1998). He makes others believe h e is someone he is not. A Troll attempts to pass as a valid member of the social community and begins to subtly provoke other members by writing messages that outwardly appear as honest attempts to start conversation but are really designed to “waste a gr oup’s time by provoking a futile argument” (Herring et al. 2002). Herring et al. further posit that a Troll’s formula for success is to make a show of willingness to engage in legitimate discussion while “refusing to acknowledge” or “willfully misinterpreting another’s point” in order to perpetuate conversation.
The term ‘troll’ comes from a fishing activity, in which the fisherman puts out bait and waits for fish to bite. Likewise, the electronic Troll is a person who posts messages that are designed to “get a bite” – that is, stir someone to a predictably angry response. While “troll” is a verb in its original sense, it has been nominalized s a description for the person engaging in the act online, whereas fishing communities prefer “troller.” Herring et al. (2002) use “troller” to describe the online variety, but this form appears to be unattested in public use, except once in the alt.troll FAQ from 1997. Part of this may be due to the other sense of the noun “troll,” a mean, ugly character living under a bridge, which is often spuriously suggested as an etymology for the term.
For the Troll, communicative competence is a key trait. He must be adept at understanding and using the styles of speech a community deems acceptable, so as to not appear as an outsider. The Troll is dangerous precisely because his identity as a Troll and therefore his true motive is not known until it is too late. Donath (1998) considers the Troll’s actions to be part of a “game” he is constructing and forcing the others to play against their will and without their knowledge. His conversation begins innocently enough; this is how the trap is set. For many Trolls, this trap is for Newbies especially. If the Flamer attacks like a bomber, seeking to harm everyone, the Troll does so like a sniper, seeking the especially vulnerable Newbies. Because they are less familiar with the community’s standards and practices, Newbies are more likely to fall for a less than perfect performance by a would be Troll. Goffman (1959) notes that, “a single note off-key can disrupt an entire performance.” For this reason, more experienced participants in the group are likely to “out” the Troll by noticing the “off-key notes” and posting a response to the Troll’s, directly accusing him of being a Troll. The more competence one has in the register of the community, the easier one will be able to identify a Troll’s deviant behavior. It is advantageous for a Troll to appear to be like any other new participant in the community. If a Troll is considered to be just another Newbie, then his lack of competence may be written off as inexperience instead of insincerity. While this can work to the advantage of a Troll, it can be to the detriment of a Newbie; on occasion, posts from previously unknown participants will be met with accusations of being a Troll