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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3457 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

20 responses to “ObDefinition: Grepping Loon”

  1. Deborah

    I’ve never heard the term, but I didn’t hang around usenet much. It reminded me immediately of crottled greeps.

  2. cim

    “I believe hardly anybody actually greps anything anymore – there are newer search utilities available”

    It’s probably one of the few programs (after web browser, email program, RSS reader) that I use almost-daily. That’s not to disagree: hardly anybody is a Unix/Linux system programmer or developer, and not all of them like command lines.

    Advances in technology…giving the ability to be obnoxious over the network to a wider population.

  3. tigtog

    It reminded me immediately of crottled greeps

    heh. That was a most enjoyable search result.

    Advances in technology…giving the ability to be obnoxious over the network to a wider population

    Too true. Ah to be back in the days before the September that never ended?

    Not really, but it had some damn fine points.

  4. liz

    Thank you for your comment on my post! I’ve edited it for accuracy. And I agree that grepping loons are v. annoying.

  5. TooManyJens

    I grep all the time!

    I don’t remember the phrase “grepping loon” from USENET. I remember Kibo and Kibozing, and I remember Serdar Argic (probably the most infamous grepping loon, about whom it was widely wondered if he was actually a bot).

    Is it frowned upon in general to show up on a drive-by when a Google Alert turns up one of your pet topics, or is it only a problem if you’re an ass about it? I’ve been known to do that, but at least I try to be polite.

  6. tigtog

    Kibozing! oh the nostalgia!

    I’m still a big fan of people lurking to get the feel of a forum, as per the original news.announce.newusers guidelines. Very old-fashioned of me, I know – although LURK MOAR, NEWB! macros are a distinct trope out there. Certainly no harm is done so long as one isn’t being an ass about it, but I wonder what benefit comes from drive-bys generally? The point is interaction, isn’t it?

    There’s the occasional thread where people just want to be on the record with their point of view where that’s entirely appropriate, but I reckon finding forums to be engaged with is the whole point.

  7. tigtog

    Hi Liz – thanks for taking a pedantic comment so graciously! I don’t know if you saw that I finally got around to updating the blogroll? Your blog is there now.

  8. Andrea

    I have nothing to really add, it’s just that I got this enormous burst of nostalgia for the days on Usenet and alt.folklore.urban when one had to be careful to talk about gloss flawing &c &c.

  9. tigtog

    oi, back when I was moderating we had some absolute beauts!

    …I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Gloss flawing on fire off the shoulder of I watched cut’n’pastes glitter in the dark near the gate. All those groons will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to moderate.

  10. Mindy

    Muuuummmm! You’re embarrassing me!

    I didn’t believe my physics-geek flatmate when he came home from Uni on day and said he had been chatting on the computer to his mate in Canada (this was in the mid nineties though). What a long way we’ve come since then.

  11. Janet

    Yup we get these all the time in birth circles. :-) I never knew there were cool terms to describe them though!

  12. Sam Bauers

    I also grep, but only on the command line. Looks like there are a few non-loon greppers still out there.

  13. lauredhel

    I feel like maybe the ableist nature of the term is a SotBO, but I’m feeling compelled to note it anyway for the sake of completeness.

  14. tigtog

    It’s worth noting. Thank you.

  15. TooManyJens

    tigtog: Maybe “drive-by” wasn’t the best term; sometimes I do find forums to continue to engage with via Google Alerts. “Parachuting in,” maybe. :)

  16. Mindy

    I thought the ‘loon’ might refer to how the bird (loon) catches its prey or something, but a bit of googling suggests that the name of the bird came from ableist language to begin with anyway. Sigh.

  17. liz

    SQUEEE!!! I’m on the blogroll!!! Thanks!!

  18. wondering

    Ooh. That raises a completely off-topic question for me:

    Canadians generally refer to our $1 coin as the “loonie” because, well, there is a picture of a loon (the bird) on it. If the bird’s name came from ableist language (which I was entirely unaware of) where does that leave us with the popular name for the coin? Does anyone feel that it is inappropriate for us to call it a loonie? Our $2 coin is called a toonie, though I guess that’s not really relevant. It’s got a polar bear on it.

  19. lauredhel

    wondering: My research suggests that the connection is tenuous and ancient (you have to go back to Old Norse). In general, for me, there are two pretty simple tests: (a) are you using the word in a negative way, as a slur or metaphor for something awful?, and (b) has anyone expressed hurt over it?

  20. wondering

    Thank you lauredhel. That is a really good explanation and a great simple test.

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