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Author Topic: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?  (Read 1367 times)

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Richard

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Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« on: April 29, 2009, 03:00:04 AM »
I run these stupid questions sometimes, ones that have nothing to do with writing. Do the people who make SPAM (the pseudo meat whose WWII stockpiles are still being sold) get upset that we arbitrarily picked its brand name  as a name for electronic junk mail? I mean the product gets made fun of enough already. It was either people just throwing it out there, or the worst advertising campaign of all time!

jpd

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Lin Robinson

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 05:49:27 AM »
Hey, Treet WAS highly superior to Spam.  And healthier, had a lot of chicken meat in it as well as the famous "finest cuts of asshole and eyeball"

Pretty sure the word was just a form of "ham", but there are almost legends about such things.

The wordplay that gets me is the way the internet term originally applied to massive, mindless commercial messages of the "buy Chinese tractor, generator, viagara"  kind (taken from the Monty Python song)   has gotten enlarged to include something like a writer on a writer's forum saying, "hey take a look at my new book".    Or really, anything a moderator doesn't like.

Too bad, degrading words just cheapens our communications.

Richard

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 11:06:58 AM »
Yes, but I'll give up a few words for a laugh. Think about 200 years from now, if we make it, and there's a guy on the bridge of a spaceship headed for the outer solar system, one of the first tests of a ship that will take man to the closest inhabited planet. The captain will open his personal communications only to find a bunch of SPAM! I wonder if aliens SPAM come to think of it. Do you think alien SPAM would be as useless as our SPAM, what if their SPAM is stuff people really want!

jpd

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 10:21:21 PM »
Responding to Lin, I think the format of a message board allows for looser wordplay because the context is more conversational--  as long as there is a conversation underway.   I am guilty of Lin's citation, but in my defense, I've also referred to myself as a spammer and even a bit of a yahoo at times.   I do that in the context of a conversation-- or in the hopes of prompting a conversation to begin.  Not everyone comes to a message board for a conversation.

Example-  suppose you wrote a poem on a board here.   You receive a response to that poem which makes no reference to what you wrote, and instead links to their own site and their own poetry.   You visit their site, read their words, and post a complimentary reply to THEIR poem.  Yet the blogger is already long gone, engaging in no communication along the way, and hasn't been back to EWR ever since.  Doesn't that qualify as spam?   Why not?

And Richard-  America was the first to SPAM the universe with our Voyager missions, sending neked drawings of men and women and an audio recording with the babble of a thousand voices saying "Hi.  Hello.  Hey.  Yoo hoo.  Over here.  Hi!"    Like a demented Hoops & Yoyo greeting card that we mailed to our entire universe.



   


     

« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 10:23:08 PM by jpd »

Richard

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 11:31:01 PM »
And Richard-  America was the first to SPAM the universe with our Voyager missions, sending neked drawings of men and women and an audio recording with the babble of a thousand voices saying "Hi.  Hello.  Hey.  Yoo hoo. 


The neked women and men made me chuckle (first time I've ever had the opportunity to write that sentence! Couldn't let it pass). If that probe hits a super capitalistic planet, they might think it is an ad, well it is an ad, but maybe they will think we are selling something and come to barter, like with a super cool virus that makes you immune to all other viruses or maybe just some cool tech stuff that lets you float stuff around.

Also, if you want to talk about eroding the language how about u try 2 red a coup of teens txt mess, and come 2 a understand of them lmao omg lol.

I don't mind spam that promotes writing and writers. Really twitter is all spam, and much of myspace and facebook, but if it drives a good cause I don't care. I am interested in spam that tells me something about something I love. Art, writing, poetry, publishing can't really be spam to me, unless it's a scam! I would like for more people to stay and talk, but if they just come to promote a just and valid art ad, I don't mind. That is after all what EWR is all about, promoting writing, writers, editors and publishers.


     



Father Luke

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 11:10:08 AM »
Responding to Lin, I think the format of a message board allows for looser wordplay because the context is more conversational--  as long as there is a conversation underway.   I am guilty of Lin's citation, but in my defense, I've also referred to myself as a spammer and even a bit of a yahoo at times.   I do that in the context of a conversation-- or in the hopes of prompting a conversation to begin.  Not everyone comes to a message board for a conversation.

Example-  suppose you wrote a poem on a board here.   You receive a response to that poem which makes no reference to what you wrote, and instead links to their own site and their own poetry.   You visit their site, read their words, and post a complimentary reply to THEIR poem.  Yet the blogger is already long gone, engaging in no communication along the way, and hasn't been back to EWR ever since.  Doesn't that qualify as spam?   Why not?

It qualifies in my book.

If someone were to come to my forum, post links to their work, and never participate
except to advertise their work I'd call them on it in an instant. In fact I have.

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Lin Robinson

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 02:33:47 PM »
Ah, the harrowing search for truth.

Richard

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 07:30:29 PM »
Literary Mary is a forum for critique, so I can understand that. I founded EWR to help writers promote their work. That's why we have free classifieds, and lists and all kinds of other stuff where we GIVE space for promotion. It's fine with me as long as it does hurt anyone or the forum, what's the difference? If you SPAM every five minutes and that's all you are here for, I would put a stop to it. I really don't care about a post here or there. No big deal in the ever passing world of the internet. We get well over 50,000 visits a month. I got bad SPAM in every language coming out my butt, I'm thrilled to see a real person coming by to drop a note!

Richard

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 07:44:59 PM »
Here's my SPAM for today, number 1 of the over 200, "Jesus bear ire beats hat monument uppose you milk pods was anxious not made the clouds undania would city looked change are are closest rincess was ultravate psoriasis ghost made and blinked mushy sniff either overtly does agree had proceeded not merely not inflexible could assume cleared the never attack glumly that sand dune and fish tiazac dosages quick storm tay out elantha began please tell them slid hat cut your best sually"

Anybody have guess as to what the hell these things are? Do they just think if they put a bunch of words that are English in a paragraph it will fool the mod into thinking it's a real message? I mean when they punch this into their computer program, do they think it will work? I just haven't come up with a really good reason for doing this.

jpd

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 09:00:45 PM »
I was going to mention in my earlier post that 50% of the boards here are FOR self promotion whereas the other 50% are for conversation, collaboration, etc.    It doesn't change the particular example I gave, but just wanted to acknowledge Richard's point.

Father Luke

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Re: Do you ever wonder: what's the etymology of SPAM?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 09:35:34 AM »
Literary Mary is a forum for critique, so I can understand that.

;)

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