On a different board, someone referred to a computer language that had achieved popularity beyond the academic world as "used in anger", the way a shot fired in combat instead of on the practice range is said to be "fired in anger". A Google search returned only people wondering, effectively, wtf?
Is this an actual expression or I am being put on?
I think I didn't make myself clear: I've heard "used in anger" in plenty of cases where anger seemed more or less appropriate -- weapons, armies, that kind of things. Does anyone have a cite where the phrase has become detached from any aggressive context?