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What is spam ?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, E-Mail Help
 
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Q:
What is spam ?

A:
Most people are familiar with the canned luncheon meat product called SPAM . It became associated with the act of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE), “spamming”, or in reference to the UCE itself, “spam”. Internet legend says that this association was inspired by the Monty Python skit in which SPAM was part of every menu item at a restaurant—similarly, UCE is an unavoidable (for now) part of surfing the net. If you receive junk e-mail form someone and you never gave them your address, you can consider it spam.

Here is the official position of Hormel Foods on the relationship between UCE and their trademark SPAM: “We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.”

This week’s “menu” at Computer Tips includes a big helping of spam-related topics that we hope you will gobble up.

~ David

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