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flame (3)

noun Zero derivation
On a messageboard, a negative comment intended to be insulting, malicious, and provoking. Often part of the phrase “flame war.”
 
The word “flame” describes the nature of the comment and what will likely result. Often in flames, posters express a strongly held opinion and do not suppress their emotions, as such they can sound like a roaring fire (not necessarily angry, but very intense). Additionally, when you feed flames they get bigger, and similarly when people respond to a flame (especially with another flame) the fire tends to get out of hand, which, in the internet sense, will lead to a flame war. The coiner cleverly choice a natural occurrence to describe this internet action that became more well-known when the popularity of messageboards increased.
Etymology : Addition of another use of the root word “flame.”
Source : “One time I started a flame war when I was twelve.” (friend, March 2011)
Last modified: 30 November 2011


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