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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||info about neologism 'spam'|
|Question:||Hello! I'm journalist and I work in a cultural quiz show. I'm verifying a question about the name 'spam' and I would appreciate your help very much to check this information, if it’s possible. The question I'm now verifying is: "We call ‘spam’ the unsolicited e-mails, but where does the word ‘spam’ come from?" Answer: A tinned meat brand - SPAM is a tinned meat brand. The Internet sense appears to derive from a sketch by the British ‘Monty Python’ comedy group. Is that correct? I’ve written to the brand but they say that “there is no direct link between the Spam brand name and usage of the word ‘spam’ in reference to the internet”. I should like to hear the opinion of an expert, such you in this case. I thank you in advance for your help and I am looking forward to hearing from you. Best regards,|
|Reply:||My own sense was that this use of "spam" came from sketch done on Monty Python, a British comedy TV show, and according to information I found on the internet, I am correct. Here are a couple of links for you: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/spam.html Check also the "etymology" section of this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic)#Etymology The link between the product known as "Spam" and the email kind of "spam" is not direct, but a relationship certainly exists.|
|Reply From:||Marilyn N Silva click here to access email|