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A.Word.A.Day--spam

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

spam (spam) verb tr. intr.

1. To mass-mail unrequested identical or nearly-identical email messages, particularly those containing advertising. Especially used when the mail addresses have been culled from network traffic or databases without the consent of the recipients. Synonyms include UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email), UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email).

2. To bombard a newsgroup with multiple copies of a message. This is more specifically called `EMP', Excessive Multi-Posting.

3. To send many identical or nearly-identical messages separately to a large number of Usenet newsgroups. This is more specifically called `ECP', Excessive Cross-Posting. This is one sure way to infuriate nearly everyone on the Net.

4. To cause a newsgroup to be flooded with irrelevant or inappropriate messages.

5. To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-size buffer with excessively large input data.

noun

6. Any large, annoying, quantity of output. For instance, someone on IRC who walks away from their screen and comes back to find 200 lines of text might say "Oh no, spam".

[From a comedy routine on Monty Python's Flying Circus, British TV series.]

"Go away for a few days, and you will probably have to clear the junk out of your mailbox with a shovel. Sadly, the same is increasingly likely to be true of your virtual mailbox which will, unless you are lucky, be full of spam." Economist, Spam, spam, spam, spam, Nov 1, 1997.

To learn how to fight spam, visit http://www.cauce .org/. -Anu

This week's theme: words from the hackers' jargon.

X-Bonus

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -Niels Bohr, physicist (1885-1962)


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