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Spam comes in many languages

July 5, 2010 - Art Smith

People that once complained about getting junk mail in their mailbox had no idea what the future would hold in terms of electronic junk mail commonly called simply spam.

Spam dates back to 1864 when someone sent an unsolicited commercial telegram to people. The actual term “Spam” dates back to an episode of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” where actors said the word over and over during a skit that made fun of the wide-spread consumption of the canned meat in post-war England.

Later the word was used to flood message boards to basically drive people away.

Today the term is used mainly to describe unwanted e-mail. It is estimated that 80 to 85 percent of e-mail is in fact unwanted or spam.

A lot of spam can be removed with filters and devices. The e-mail that we send and receive pass through a device that takes out most of it. A person’s individual computer filters other most of the rest.

I get a lot of e-mail, and a lot of spam. Much of it filtered into my junk e-mail folder, which tends to get around 200 pieces per week. Other spam I have to manual get rid of.

People get very creative with their subject line in order to try to get you to read the message.

Although most spam is in English, some e-mail arrives clearly meant for someone in a different country.

I’ve collected about a week’s worth of “international spam” – Marketers in China, Russia and the Arab world clearly missed their mark when they put me in their out box. They will soon go the way of all the spam, directly to the trash.


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Spam comes in many languages