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Origins Of SPAM The Meat And The E-mail

by / Wednesday, 03 May 2017 / Published in News

We’re on a bit of an acronym kick this month, so we thought we’d throw out a silly one here. Where did SPAM come from?

SPAM the meat.  SPAM the meat is a chopped pork shoulder product mixed with a few other meats, salt, water, sugar and sodium nitrite. This meat product was invented in 1937. It was a cheap way to get your fix of meat and it seemed to last for ever. Believe it or not, it really doesn’t stand for “Something Posing As Meat” Hormel actually says it stands for “Shoulder of Pork And haM.” Kenneth Daigneau, an actor, entered a naming contest suggesting the “SPAM” name and won a prize of $100. Today, Hormel has sold over 6 billion cans of their mystery meat called SPAM.

Is SPAM the e-mail related? 
Absolutely! In 1970 Monty Python’s Flying circus members came up with a sketch involving a customer desperately trying to find something on the menu that didn’t include SPAM. During his meal a party of Vikings seated near by break into song with a chorus of “SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!” Later, a group of geeks, to the truest sense of the word, playing an online multi-user dungeons game similar to World of Warcraft dubbed specific behaviors as spamming. They were of course all about etiquette so sometimes they would flood a computer with too much data trying to crash it or they would flood a database with objects to annoy other patrons. Chat sessions would be filled with Monty Python’s SPAM song messages, “SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM” or just “spam…spam…spam” for short.

SPAM these days are messages sent through e-mail that often deliver malicious programs. You have your classic “make money” schemes and your garden variety inheritance or funding requests, but even more dangerous are the messages to businesses that look real. These spam messages may actually include details that seem very real like a familiar company logo or a tracking number. Be safe online, don’t fall for all that “lovely spam.”

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