Topic drift

<messaging> Term used on GEnie, Usenet and other electronic fora to describe the tendency of a thread to drift away from the original subject of discussion (and thus, from the Subject header of the originating message), or the results of that tendency.

Often used in gentle reminders that the discussion has strayed off any useful track.

"I think we started with a question about Niven's last book, but we've ended up discussing the sexual habits of the common marmoset.

Now *that's* topic drift!"

[Jargon File]

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