IN NORTHERN European folk tales, a troll is a creature who lurked in caves under rocks. It is slow-witted, aggressive and harmful to human beings.
The modern usage relates to the age of the internet and, in particular, social media.
According to the Oxford dictionary, this kind of troll makes a deliberately provocative online post with the intention of getting a reaction.
A tiny item in my column last week about the £4billion overseas sales of Scotch whisky got the trolls streaming out of their crevices.
I said Scots got none of the tax resulting from these sales. As I later pointed out in a follow-up letters debate with the blogger Kevin Hague, my point referred to the profits such sales make for the companies.
But both the original article and my follow-up letter touched on a dog-whistle issue for a certain type of unionist troll.
Read the rest of my column here.