KudoZ home » English » Computers (general)

spam (origin of ...)

English translation: see answer...

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
13:03 Mar 10, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Computers (general)
English term or phrase: spam (origin of ...)
I guess we're all confronted more or less daily by E-mail spam, but does anyone know where the term originated and who was responsible? Does it have anything to do with those tins of luncheon meat?
Krokodil
Germany
Local time: 11:34
English translation:see answer...
Explanation:
The term spam is derived from the Monty Python SPAM sketch, set in a cafe where everything on the menu includes SPAM® luncheon meat. While a customer plaintively asks for some kind of food without SPAM in it, the server reiterates the SPAM-filled menu. Soon, a chorus of Vikings join in with a song: "SPAM, SPAM, wonderful SPAM, glorious SPAM," over and over again, drowning out all conversation.

Although the first known instance of unsolicited commercial email occurred in 1978, the term "spam" for this practice had not yet been applied. The Monty Python reference was applied to disruptive activity on MUD games. It later came to be used on Usenet to mean excessive multiple posting -- the repeated posting of the same message. The first evident usage of this sense was by Joel Furr in the aftermath of the ARMM incident of March 31, 1993, in which a piece of experimental software released dozens of recursive messages onto the news.admin.policy newsgroup.

Soon, it came to refer also to the flooding of Usenet newsgroups with junk messages. After a pair of lawyers, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, started using bulk Usenet posting as a means of advertisement, the term came to include unauthorized commercial use of the noncommercial Usenet. Email spamming, and the use of the term, followed shortly. [3]

There are two popular (and incorrect) folk etymologies of the word "spam". The first, promulgated by spammers Canter & Siegel, is that "spamming" is what happens when one dumps a can of SPAM into a fan blade. The second is the acronym "shit posing as mail."

Hormel Foods, the makers of SPAM® luncheon meat, do not object to the Internet use of the term "spamming." However, they do ask that the capitalized word "SPAM" be reserved to refer to their product and trademark. [4].

Selected response from:

Spiros Doikas
Local time: 12:34
Grading comment
Yes, I'm convinced!
Many thanks.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +20see answer...
Spiros Doikas
4The term
Nikita Kobrin
3see comment
Hacene


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +20
see answer...


Explanation:
The term spam is derived from the Monty Python SPAM sketch, set in a cafe where everything on the menu includes SPAM® luncheon meat. While a customer plaintively asks for some kind of food without SPAM in it, the server reiterates the SPAM-filled menu. Soon, a chorus of Vikings join in with a song: "SPAM, SPAM, wonderful SPAM, glorious SPAM," over and over again, drowning out all conversation.

Although the first known instance of unsolicited commercial email occurred in 1978, the term "spam" for this practice had not yet been applied. The Monty Python reference was applied to disruptive activity on MUD games. It later came to be used on Usenet to mean excessive multiple posting -- the repeated posting of the same message. The first evident usage of this sense was by Joel Furr in the aftermath of the ARMM incident of March 31, 1993, in which a piece of experimental software released dozens of recursive messages onto the news.admin.policy newsgroup.

Soon, it came to refer also to the flooding of Usenet newsgroups with junk messages. After a pair of lawyers, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, started using bulk Usenet posting as a means of advertisement, the term came to include unauthorized commercial use of the noncommercial Usenet. Email spamming, and the use of the term, followed shortly. [3]

There are two popular (and incorrect) folk etymologies of the word "spam". The first, promulgated by spammers Canter & Siegel, is that "spamming" is what happens when one dumps a can of SPAM into a fan blade. The second is the acronym "shit posing as mail."

Hormel Foods, the makers of SPAM® luncheon meat, do not object to the Internet use of the term "spamming." However, they do ask that the capitalized word "SPAM" be reserved to refer to their product and trademark. [4].




    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamming#Etymology
Spiros Doikas
Local time: 12:34
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Yes, I'm convinced!
Many thanks.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alexander Demyanov: http://www.templetons.com/brad/spamterm.html
1 min

agree  barnett: hahahahaha!!!!!! oh yeah!
6 mins

agree  Attila Piróth
12 mins

agree  Natalya Zelikova
12 mins

agree  Lars Helbig: also see this interesting statement about spam from the makers of SPAM
28 mins

agree  Henrik Brameus: See also http://www.templetons.com/brad/spamterm.html
42 mins

agree  chopra_2002
45 mins

agree  Armorel Young: isn't it wonderful that Monty Python should have had such a formative influence on the English language
1 hr

agree  Jonathan MacKerron: nothing like a side of fried spam in the morning
1 hr

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
1 hr

agree  Gayle Wallimann
1 hr

agree  Charlie Bavington: I fail to see how anyone could wish to know more !
1 hr

agree  Amy Williams: urgh
2 hrs

agree  ntext
3 hrs

agree  RHELLER: you are right about the luncheon meat which is considered "dog food"
3 hrs

agree  Pike: pike
4 hrs

agree  Nado2002
6 hrs

agree  Mario Marcolin
20 hrs

agree  Tony M: Nice one, Spiros! And to think when I first watched that sketch, I could never have imagined what would come out of it...
1 day3 hrs

agree  senin
3 days23 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
see comment


Explanation:
cold meat (tdmk) used for cold/unwanted
americanism from the 80s.

Hacene
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Gayle Wallimann: Why americanisms from the 80s? The meat was invented in 1937, and used to feed soldiers in WWII. www.dialmaine.com/techsupport/policy-spam.html - 9k OK, your wording isn't clear, "cold/unwanted americanism from the 80's" seems to run together.
1 hr
  -> americanism from the 80s refer to the use of spam as an IT word, not the trademark. I pressed enter so they are not on the same line but I understand your point
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The term


Explanation:
The term "spam" comes from the Monty Python sketch where the name of the canned meat product is used so often that it crowds everything else out.

Nikita Kobrin
Lithuania
Local time: 12:34
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search