Translating from Comment Troll into English

Comments, in theory, are a great idea. Enabling comments on your blog could give you an idea of your readership's reaction and, by providing valuable feedback and supplemental content, help make every subsequent entry more interesting. Unfortunately, this theory grossly overestimates the demography of The Internet.

Take this exchange, for example, left on an article about the Worst Video Game Consoles of a All Time:

I could never get used to it, the controllers are too awful. It has nothing to do with just big hands!! No!! It is uncomfortable.
Aside from the abundant exclamation marks, this comment was approximately on topic and added a certain amount of insight (or at least enthusiasm) to the rest of the article. Another anonymous comment followed:
"Wah wah! The big bad controller hurt my hands..."
Grow some man-size hands, little sissy-boy. What a little fruit you are!
This is the problem with comments. For every insightful or helpful comment, there are half a dozen that range from regrettable to disgusting. tends to have a lower dumb-comment rate—but that is more than balanced by comments on sites like YouTube or Digg. (I promise I did not search for the worst comment threads I could find. I didn't have to.)

Few Internet veterans would get their feelings hurt by the unprovoked hostility in some of these comments. Still, this comment raises one pressing question: Who spends their time leaving hateful, anonymous comments in response to another anonymous comments left over month ago? Where do these comments come from? The simplest explanation is that there are an entire population of people who spend ungodly amounts of time randomly browsing the internet and leaving comments like, "You suck," or "Your mom is gay," or some combination of the two. Somehow this sort of comment manages to become the most common non-spam comment on the internet. Is there some computer-spread mental illness causing this? Is this a super-virus inadvertently unleashed by an immature hacker-prodigy? Do bloggers leave such comments on their own blog in an effort to look more established?

After extensive research, behavioral scientists at have uncovered the real reason behind this phenomenon. It turns out comment trolls are actually people, much like you or me. The only difference is that they speak a different dialect of English. I might say, "Please pass the salt." Somebody else might say, "Hook me up with some flavor," or "You mind tossin' me summodat der condiment?" A comment troll might say, "You gay-face but luvrs should stop whackin' for a sec and pass the rest of us some sodium cloride. Even a moron knows that sodium cloride is another word for table salt." Despite our repeated failure to understand them, the Comment Trolls have unflaggingly continued their efforts to communicate.

While's behavioral scientists are still working to understand the finer syntax rules of Comment Troll, progress has been made on the basics. What follows is a rough translation of some of the most common phrases.

  • This sucks - I read your article and disagree with it.
  • This is gay - I read your article and agree with it—but I'm not sure that I consider the topic newsworthy.
  • u r so gay - I read all of your article—but for some reason, I didn't like it. I feel rather insecure about myself because for some reason I couldn't summon the initiative to stop reading.
  • Your so gay - I read all of your article—but for some reason, I didn't like it. I feel rather insecure about myself because for some reason I couldn't summon the initiative to stop reading. Additionally, this article makes me question my own sexuality.
  • this is dumb - I believe I disagree with you. Please help me articulate why.
  • That was pretty stupid - I spent a portion of my life reading an article I did not like. I am really bad at time management. I could get a life instead of leaving this comment, but, as I said, I have time management problems.
  • retard - My time management skills are improving! I can now condense my scorn into six letters. Unfortunately, my social skills are slipping.
  • STFU - Please join my vigil of silence mourning my own inability to communicate.
  • Get a job - I don't have access to a computer at my job, probably because I work in fast food.
  • not funny - I am the phantom humorist! I anonymously go to websites and rate the quality of their humor! You have just been phantomized!
  • First post! - I rarely come in first place in anything. I really, really need a hug.
  • First page! - No—I really need the hug. I even get beaten in a first post contest.
  • WTF? - There are so many things I don't understand. The world is a terrifying place and it is very difficult being me.
  • uuhhh...... - Apparently I'm a zombie now.
  • ummmm idk what to say its just really weird - I have nothing to add to this conversatio—so I should just be quiet. Unfortunately, I've never figured out how to do that.
  • abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz - Hey everybody! Guess what I just learned yesterday?
A media site like YouTube gets its own set of comments.
  • She's hot - I'm twelve.
  • She should get nakt - Don't tell my mom I'm using the computer after bedtime. Also, I'm at that age where I giggle when anybody says "hair."
  • LOL. Hair. ROTFLMFAO. Git it? - See—what did I tell you?
  • Lose some weight pls ktnxbye - After thousands and thousands of hours of watching porn, I have forgotten what it means to be truly human.
  • u suck u fat mother ***in bioch - I am very lonely. I hate other people because their existence highlights my loneliness.
  • pff CL_LOL 1 :D - [We're not sure what this one means yet. We're working on it, though. It seems to roughly translate to, "Call an ambulance, my spleen is broken."]
A number of open questions remain. Where do comment trolls come from? Can they ever stop being comment trolls? Can you vaccinate your children to prevent them from being comment trolls? The behavioral scientists at are working around the clock to find these answers. The public needs to know.