Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 08:46:45 -0500 From: Katherine Catmull Subject: Re: Internet Term Stumper (fwd) On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Sylvia Swift wrote: > On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Daniel S Goodman forwarded: > > > I hope I don't get spammed for this, but does anyone know how the > > term 'spamming' got coined for mass e-mailing? > > i read that it's from the metaphor of spam (yes, the trademarked pork > product) hitting a fan, and the resulting havoc. i don't have a copy at > home, but i think it's mentioned in _internet for dummies_. On Usenet, where spam is a much greater problem than it is on e-mail lists, there is a group called (I think--maybe no "admin" in the name) to discuss and deal with the problem. They have an excellent and informative FAQ which among other things gives a very presice definition of spam. And I believe it was in that FAQ I read that the term "spam" is a reference to the ancient Monty Python skit about the restaurant where you can't order anything that doesn't include spam--and where a chorus of men keeps leaping up to chant "SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM . . ." endlessly. It's an apt and amusing etymology and I hope it's true. Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]