James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Apr 1 19:56:57 UTC 2002

In a message dated Mon, 1 Apr 2002  2:33:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM> writes:

>  Is spam SPAM?  In other words, is it merely a reference to its
> disagreeableness, or is it an  acronym (Something-or-other Advertising
> Message)?
> A. Murie

I believe the canned meat is SPiced hAM.

If I remember correctly, the OED2 says that unsolicited E-mail received its name from a Monty Python skit but not whether the skit was using the name of the canned meat.

Is there a term for words that consist, not of initials of words, but of syllables from different words (sometimes combined with initials)?  E.g.  "TACAN" which is "TACtical Air Navigation" (a navigation system belonging to the military).

Then there is "VOR", not the aristocrats in the Lois McMaster Bujold novels but an acronym for "Vhf Omnidirectional Range" (a navigation system belonging to the civilian FAA, for which I work.)  "VHF" is itself an acronym for "Very High Frequency", making VOR a second-level acronym.

TACAN and VOR transmitters are frequently combined into one facility, called a "VORTAC".

     Jim Landau
     systems engineer
     FAA Technical Center (ASB-510/BCI)
     Atlantic City Airport NJ 08405 USA

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