"Internet Home" (Have a "ham-cam"?)

Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Wed Aug 23 07:21:23 UTC 2000

Joseph McCollum wrote:

> This has probably come up before, but whence "spam?"
> I have heard two different versions:
> (1)  The original spam was actually sent out by Spam.  (I find this story
> unlikely: it doesn't seem that a meat-packing company or even a reseller
> of canned meat would be an early entrant into e-commerce.)
> (2)  Spam stands for "s-something p-something advertising message."  OK,
> but what are s & p ?

Yes, there should be something in the ADS Archives -- but I'm too rushed
this week to look it up myself.

My wild guess is that this application of spam comes out of Monty
Python's Flying Circus: the Spam skit.  The original airing of that show
was early enough that it probably antedates the first appearances of
that stuff we call spam on the Internet.  There always has been a wide
overlap between dedicated Monty Python fans and Internet residents, so
my guess is plausible even if it's dead wrong.

-- mike salovesh                    <salovesh at niu.edu>

P.S.:  I used "residents" deliberately.  That was supposed to be the
term of choice in formal speech about programs for the
cons/what-have-you at Stateville, the ancient maximum security prison
run by the state of Illinois.  Ooops -- I didn't mean "prison", of
course.  I should have said "correctional facility".

I taught in the program Northern Illinois University used to run for
Stateville residents.  Some of our students were such longterm residents
that they completed high school equivalency courses and went on to earn
NIU bachelor's degrees on the inside.  (In fact, one of my former
students inside Stateville entered graduate study at NIU when he got
out.  He turned out to be one of the most effective teaching assistants
in the English department, on his way to the Ph.D.)

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