Many of you probably know the word “spam” from the phrase “spam email,” but do you know what it actually means? Spam is a meat product that was invented in 1937. The name is a mixture of the words “spiced” and “ham.” In 1970, the British comedy team “Monty Python” did a sketch about a cafe where the only thing on the menu was spam. A customer tried to order breakfast without spam, but whatever he chose seemed to come with spam. This sketch is really famous in Britain, and when email started to become popular, someone decided to call unsolicited junk emails “spam” because he or she liked the Monty Python sketch. The name stuck, and now the word is used around the world. Now, in fact, there are also derivatives of the word, including “spamming” and “spammers.”
For those of you who are interested, here is the original Monty Python sketch.
Now that I host this blog on my own server, I have to be really careful about spam comments. One method I use is to remove the comments box from old entries. (I must remember to do that today!) If you look at my old entries on the ALC blog, you will see thousands and thousands of spam comments. ALC’s home page is really popular, so unfortunately, it naturally attracts the attention of spammers. Sometimes, they get hundreds of them every hour just on one blog! Another type of security I use is to ask commenters to input a code that they can see on the screen. Computers cannot read this code, so the only way for spammers to get around it is to pay teams of people to enter the comments manually. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of people who do this. If a spammer finds a site where comments can be posted without being approved, they will pay a team of people to attack it with spam comments that include links to other sites.
So, the topic this week is spam emails. Do you get a lot of them? What kind of emails do you receive? What methods do you use to try to stop them? If you don’t have any stories about spam, feel free to talk about anything else connected to computer security. A friend of mine recently had her Gmail account hacked, and the hacker sent a message to everyone in her address book saying that she was stuck in England and needed money urgently. This is quite a famous scam, but even so, a few people told her later that they were thinking about sending money. Has something similar ever happened to you or anyone you know?
Look forward to hearing your stories.
I have just received your A-Z book I ordered last Friday. It was much more voluminous than I had expected, and I think the price is quite reasonable. I riffled through the pages, and I alreay have found some English errors I always make. Actually, it’s my birthday today, so I will think of it as my birthday present to myself.
Hi David and everyone,
> Do you get a lot of them?
Yes, I do.
I don’t know if it’s extraordinary many compared to other people, though.
> What kind of emails do you receive?
I often receive emails from online stores I’ve bought something before.
> What methods do you use to try to stop them?
As I have mentioned before, I really don’t know much about computers, so I do nothing special but using a computer security software. And so far, there is nothing wrong with this method.
> If you don’t have any stories about spam, feel free to talk about anything else connected to computer security.
May I talk about “mobile emails”?
When I got married, I was still working, so I took a two-week holiday to visit my husband family. Before I took the holiday, my boss asked my mobile phone’s mail address, so I gave it to him. He told me, “Just for precaution’s sake”, so I never thought that he would send a mail.
During my stay in my husband’s country, I didn’t check mails on my mobile phone at all. And first at Narita Airport I opened my mailbox. There were more than 100 emails and about 80% of them were spam mails, and I found a mail from my boss in them. He wrote, “Did you come back all right?” and sent it to me from his office computer. Actually, all spam mails followed after his mail. I was furious about him, but soon I thought “solving these spam mails” must be taken care of first, and I called Docomo immediately.
Finally, I ended up changing my mobile phone’s mail address because of my “baka” boss!!(He graduated from 東大, though.)
Come to think of it, every morning he was struggling with a heap of spam emails from abroad. I was working at oversea department at that time, and he was the general manager.
Of course, I didn’t tell him my new mail address after that!!
Bye for now !!
Happy birthday! Hope you have a great day.
Hope you are having a wonderful day with your family:)
I had a busy day and am too tired to write a comment on the topic.
Bye for now,
♬ Happy Birthday ♬
I hope you have a wonderful day with your family!
I’m sorry that you have trouble with spam comments.
>Do you get a lot of them?
No, I don’t. I get spam emails only occasionally.
>What kind of emails do you receive?
I occasionally receive ‘chain emails’. They say “If you receive this email, you must forward this email to 5 people, otherwise you will be unfortunate.”
>What methods do you use to try to stop them?
I don’t know how to stop them. But I don’t forward those emails to other people!
Actually today is my mother’s birthday,too! My family bought cakes for her. She was very pleased.
I hope you have a great day.
Wishing you miles of smiles in the coming years! 🙂
I forgot to say this…
Nice to have you with us, and thanks for sharing your story!
Hi David and everyone,
I didn’t know that spam is a meat product. It’s interesting!
> Do you get a lot of them? What kind of emails do you receive?
I get a lot of advertisements from online shops I use, but they are not spam emails. I read some of them when I have time, but I throw away most of them without opening. I’m getting tired of advertisements from Rakuten. I like the shop, but they send me lots and lots of emails.
> What methods do you use to try to stop them?
I use a security software, and it’s working so far.
> Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of people who do this.
I’ve heard that, too. What kind of job is that?? I don’t understand what the benefit is in paying teams of people to enter comments manually.
I’m too sleepy to keep my eyes open…(I had to get up at 4:30 this morning.)
Thank you for your kind messages!
> I occasionally receive ‘chain emails’
I just remembered that I received a malicious chain mail just after the earthquake disaster.
It explained that there was an explosion at an oil refinery in Chiba prefecture by effects of the quake, and poisonous gas would diffuse the entire Kanto area, so you should avoid going out as much as possible.
Of course, it was just a false rumor, but many people believed it and spread the mail to their family or friends.
> I’m getting tired of advertisements from Rakuten
I’m getting tired of advertisements from Rakuten and Amazon.
I watched the video.
The credits roll started much earlier than I had expected, but I soon understood the reason.
The sketch was full of “spams” to the very end !!
See you !
Hi David and everyone,
I didn’t know that spam in email was deprived from food, spam. Monty Python’s sketch about spam is hilarious!
The scam that happened to your friend was just like Oreore-Sagi. I’ve heard about being hacked but I didn’t know what kind of things were caused by being hacked.
Actually, similar emails sent to our address several times. After I posted a few comments, like blogs in English to a site whose aim is to get to know people from around the world. Emails sent to our address were like, “I live in ~ and my country was in turmoil and my parents were killed. I don’t have the place to live. Please send some money to my account.” I just ignored those mails. And of course I stop immediately posting comments to that site. And those malicious emails don’t come any more.
I don’t know much about technology and security matters. I just keep in mind not to open attached files from mails from unknown people and ignore file names “~ .exe” and “~ >vbs”.
By for now.
Very Happy Birthday!
I think that you had a wonderful time with your family.
One of my grandchildren’s birthday is the same date as your birthday. She just turned 6 years old. She likes palying the piano very much.
Hi Devid and everyone!
Thank your for many nice comments about my story. I’m so happy.
I don’t like spam mail. Also I’m very worried about my computer might become infected catch a computer virus if I’ll open some. Therefore, I never open any spam.
By the way, just ten minutes ago, while I was looking for a new word, I found very interesting articles the following.
“A new study has revealed spam e-mail generates more than 17 million tons of CO2 a year, seriously affecting the environment. The Carbon Footprint of E-mail Spam Report estimates around 62 trillion spam messages are sent annually.”
Have a nice day!
I’m not in favour of the death penalty, but for spammers and hackers, I think I might make an exception!
Hi David and everyone.
>someone decided to call unsolicited junk emails “spam” because he or she liked the Monty Python sketch.
I didn’t know that!It’s vety interesting and funny story! I thought “spam” was an original word that just happened to be the same as “spam” of meat.
And meat spam is known as unique and popular food to Hawaiian in Japan, so I’m a bit surprised to know you have had meat spam for long time in the West,too.
>Do you get a lot of them? What kind of emails do you receive?
More than a decade ago I got about 40 junk mails of advertisement a day in my mobilphone.Getting 40 times of ringtone regardless of day and night made me crazy. So I decided to change my email aaddress to new one which was very complicated using lots of “commma” and “hyphen” and then it was settled.
As for my personal computer, I got a mail with a name I had never heard but it’s title was “Hi Long time no see.How are you?”, as if it was from my friend. So I opened it wondering who this was and found it showing the site of dating service.
I got sometimes the same mails even after that although sender’s name was always different. I never opened but just deleted them so I don’t get them anymore.
>A friend of mine recently had her Gmail account hacked, and the hacker sent a message to everyone in her address book saying that she was stuck in England and needed money urgently.
Wow! I can’t believe it’s possible for someone outside to do that! It’s very scary….
I’m sorry I’m late to say,but Happy Birthday!
I hope you had a great time yesterday.
Have a nice day everyone!
Hi Mika and everyone,
“The annual amount of energy used for spam-related activities around the world (transmit, process and filter spam) is equivalent to the electricity used in 2.4 million homes,…”
Apparently, the number of homes covered by KEPCO is about ten million.
It seems to be possible to cover all the summer power shortages in the service area of KEPCO with the energy used for spam….
> So I opened it wondering who this was and found it showing the site of dating service
An elderly colleague of mine used to receive spam emails like that every day. He was sitting next to my desk. One day he received a spam email from a shop in USA selling Viagras, and he wondered how the shop knew that he was an old man. He showed the mail to me, and we had a good laugh together.
See you !
I received the same email as yours. I don’t understand why many people believe the contents of the chain emails!
Nice to meet you.
>A new study has revealed spam e-mail generates more than 17 million tons of CO2 a year, seriously affecting the environment.
I didn’t know about that! Spam emails not only irritates people but affects the environment.
About five years ago, I received a chain (mobile)email that said Nakai(SMAP) and Nakano Minako(Fuji TV announcer)had held a wedding ceremony in Nakano Minako’s hometown.
A プリクラ photo of them kissing was attached to the email, so there was an air of reality about the story.
To tell the truth, I believed the story. As you know, finally Nakano Minako married to another man, though…
> I don’t understand why many people believe the contents of the chain emails
Indeed…just like me…
The chain mail mentioned above is rather harmless, but the one we both received after the quake was very malicious. At that time, everyone was much agitated by the quake, and someone made further attacks on people shivering with fear. I’m wondering why people start false rumors… just to enjoy watching how people react to what he or she has done!?
I somehow understand why people believed the chain mail and spread to others. I guess they did it just out of kindeness in order not their families or friends to get damages.
See you !
This is first time to comment the blog.
Actually, my blog was introduced by David on this blog 2 weeks ago. Its name is “デビッド・バーカー氏のブログを訳してみる”.
One of the purpose I started my blog was that I improved my translating skill in English. Off course I sometimes visited the blog ,and read topics which David wrote and comments which you guys posted.
But I sometimes can’t understand a topic David posted, so I decided to translate only his writing.
David said “your blog is very useful for beginner” when he e-mailed me, and also he said “when you posted new translation on your blog , you shall comment my blog!!”
I didn’t have a confidence my translating skill and even now. If you have a time to visit my blog , please tell me my mistake when you find it!!
I also sometimes try to post my comments!!
Bye foe now!!
Great to hear from you! 🙂 I visited your blog when David introduced it to us. A long time ago, I tried to translate David’s entries and post them on his blog, but I don’t have enough time to do it now, so I gave up.(In other words, I’ve just been lazy… LOL) Anyway, as David says, your blog is very useful for English learners, so please keep up the good job and join us again from time to time.(I will check your blog, too!)
I have to get back to my housework.
Have a nice day, everyone!
Nice to have you with us !! 🙂
I’d visited your blog before David introduced it to us. I found it very interesting and was impressed by your very conscientious work!
> One of the purpose I started my blog was that I improved my translating skill in English
Do you need translating skills at work?
When I read David’s entries, I don’t really care about small matters, so I sometimes misinterpret them….hahaha…
> I also sometimes try to post my comments!!
I’m looking forward to your next comment !
> A long time ago, I tried to translate David’s entries and post them on his blog,
Oh, did you?
And you posted them?? When??
I want to read them!!
> but I don’t have enough time to do it now, so I gave up.(In other words, I’ve just been lazy… LOL)
I know exactly what you mean.
You are a mother of three children !!
It is sometimes very difficult to translate English to Japanese. I mean, I can make a literal translation, but it isn’t easy to translate English into “good”(かっこいい) Japanese like 戸田奈津子 does.
Finally, you need to have a talent/ a sense for both English and Japanese, don’t you think so??
However, I personally believe that those who have a sense of his/her own language are usually good translaters too, and vice versa. In other words, they have a talent for languages.
See you !
May I ask you a question?
I had a look the latest entry(“Spam”) of your blog.
Some sentences(translations) are in 太字、斜字 type.
Do you mean anything special with it?
> If you have a time to visit my blog , please tell me my mistake when you find it
I don’t think it is a mistake, but if it were me, I would translate “sketch” as “コント”, because “コメディ” sounds ”お笑い全般” to me(maybe to almost all Japanese people).
Bye for now !
Thanks for your interest in my translations. I can’t remember from when to when I translated David’s entries, but I remember the entry “Happy Valentine’s Day”(February 14th 2009) because it was interesting and fun. 確かこのエントリーの前後数ヶ月くらいは頑張っていたような気がするのですが…。 まぁ、あまりじっくり読まないようにお願いします（笑）
By the way, your elderly colleague’s story made me laugh!!
Hi David and everyone,
I’ve been taking a break doing my blog on Nifty, but I still keep it, and I sometimes get spam comments there. When I get those comments, I log in my blog and delete them by clicking “ニフティに通知して削除.” The other day, I got one that irritated me. Of course it included a link to an other site, but the message was just one line; “Hacking again?” …This person needs to learn how to use his/her time more efficiently.
See you soon,
Thank you for your comment! Actually, my translation is not natural Japanese called “直訳”, so I was ashamed of opening to the public. But I thought a literal translation if would be more understandable to compare English and Japanese. Anyway , Now I don’t have enough time to translate , but I decided to upload to my blog every Wednesday and sometimes post as a comment on the blog !!
Thank you for your comment and visiting my blog!
>Do you need translating skills at work?
Sometimes, I have to translate some English sentence , for example, I visit to an Apple’s website to read some documents for I need to develop iPad/iPhone programs. There are only English documents on an Apple’s website for developers!! What are not too kind for us!! (^^;)
> I would translate “sketch” as “コント”, because “コメディ” sounds ”お笑い全般” to me(maybe to almost all Japanese people).
Wao, you are great!! I had felt strange that “comedy” translate “コメディ”.
Bye for now !
I read only one translation(Happy Valentine’s Day) in compliance with your wishes.
I liked your translation very much.
It is very natural, and you managed to express sour-sweet memories of David’s young days with his former girl friend very well!!
Besides, I found the link to your blog by chance.
You seem to upload iy regularly….about once a year!! hehehe… 🙂
> By the way, your elderly colleague’s story made me laugh!!
Did you like it? Thanks.
I liked him very much, he always helped me.
He taught me with great patience and care how to write business emails or letters in English.
I still appreciate him.
> Sometimes, I have to translate some English sentence , for example, I visit to an Apple’s website to read some documents for I need to develop iPad/iPhone programs. There are only English documents on an Apple’s website for developers!!
Sounds very difficult, and I don’t think I can do your job!! 🙂
My brain would burst !! (脳みそが破裂する！)
See you !
I have heard this somewhere before, but I haven’t watched this sketch before.
About spam mails, I get some every day, but I can’t be bothered to do something for that so I just leave them and when I have time, I dump all those mails. Most of them are ads and dating sites.
Nice to have you with us:) I will visit your site later.
Oh got to go now,
Bye for now
I think translating David’s blog is a great way for your study and also your blog is very helpful for beginners as David said.
I read your translation and thought you translated David’s blog into natural Japanese. I think it’s very difficult. Although it’s not so difficult for higher level people to do literal translation but the hardest part is put them into natural Japanese.
I once studied English to Japanese translation by correspondence study, but my translations always sent back to me with lots of corrections.
Hi Tomo and YU,
I remembered reading Tomo’s translations of David’s blog from his old entry. Tomo did several variations: casual ones like ～したんだ。to ordinary ones like ～しました。Tomo’s translations are also very natural!
Bye for now.
Hi David and everyone
I didn’t know “spam mail” comes from Monty Python. I’m interested in how the company which products original SPAM feel.
Some of my email accounts receive a lot of spam mails everyday. Most of them are filtered and moved to spam folder automatically, so I don’t need to care about that. Sometimes a normal mail is filtered wrongly. It troubles me.
I was little surprised that there are still chain mails. Because I don’t have many friends who send me a mail, I haven’t received any chain mails for a long time. So I have thought the chain mails vanished. I don’t understand why people create harmful mail.
By the way, it reminds me that there is unopened SPAM package for a long time in a kitchen 😛
Nice to have with us! Your effort is very impressive. I’ll visit your blog later. Are you a software developer? Me too:) There are many documents only written in English, aren’t there?
Bye for now
I’m wondering what motivated you to translate David’s blog first. For yourself or for beginners reading his blog?
> I’m interested in how the company which products original SPAM feel
I found the answer in Wikipedia.
Hormel’s response :
Spam makers Hormel, while never happy with the use of the word spam for junk email, have been supportive of Monty Python and their sketch. Hormel issued a special tin of Spam for the Broadway premiere of Eric Idle’s hit musical Spamalot. Also, the sketch is part of the company’s Spam museum in Austin, Minnesota, United States. The sketch was also mentioned in Spam’s on-can advertisements for the product’s 70th anniversary in 2007, though the date of the Python sketch mentioned was incorrect (1971 when it should be 1970).
In 2007 the Hormel company decided that such publicity was part of their corporate image, possibly for the better, and sponsored a game where their product is strongly associated with Monty Python, even featuring a product with “Stinky French Garlic” as part of the promotion of SPAMalot, a musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (Wikipedia)
> Because I don’t have many friends who send me a mail, I haven’t received any chain mails for a long time. So I have thought the chain mails vanished
I think just your friends are all smart enough to distinguish between the truth and falsh rumors.
If I remember correctly, Okinawan people use Spam meat for a variety of home cooking. Do you like Spam meat? Do you sometimes miss Okinawan dishes with Spam?
Anyway, please take care of your health, I think you always work too hard !!
See you !
As I said, your blog is very useful for English learners, especially for beginners who are struggling to read David’s entries. I was one of them when I joined David’s blog six years ago, so please keep doing it. I’m looking forward to reading your blog on Wednesdays!
Hi YU and Fumie,
Thanks for your feedback on my translations. I’m flattered 🙂
I translated David’s entries because I wanted a lot more people to join the blog. As you know, my English was very poor when I joined the blog, and it was really difficult for me to read English, even a few lines. David was writing entries in Japanese at the beginning, and that’s why I was able to jump in the blog. If he had written all in English like he does now, I wouldn’t have joined the blog, so I wanted to help “beginners” like me. Of course, it was good study for me as well!
>He taught me with great patience and care how to write business emails or letters in English.
It sounds very difficult to write business emails and letters in English. You were lucky to have a nice teacher at work!
Hi trmr and Jyoji,
I read Jyoji’s self-introduction on his blog, and he says he is a system engineer and programmer.
So, you two create and develop software?? Amazing!! I have a lot of respect for people who understand computer language. It just looks like 暗号 to me!
See you soon,
Hi again Jyoji,
I tried to post a comment on your blog, but I couldn’t. It says I need to choose my profile, but I didn’t understand what it meant…
Do you remember that Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(総務省）told us not to spread chain emails about the earthquake? As you say, that chain email was very vicious!
>I guess they did it just out of kindeness in order not their families or friends to get damages.
I see… At that time, I was very surprised to receive chain emails from my best friend because she had not sent such chain emails to me before. Probably she cared about me, so she did it.
Nice to have you with us! I often enjoy reading your blog. I hope you will join us from time to time.
>Because I don’t have many friends who send me a mail, I haven’t received any chain mails for a long time. So I have thought the chain mails vanished.
Yes! I had thought that the chain emails vanished before I received such emails after the earthquake. As YU said, your friends are all sensible!
>If he had written all in English like he does now, I wouldn’t have joined the blog, so I wanted to help “beginners” like me. Of course, it was good study for me as well!
You are like a mother of this blog, Tomo!
How many children do you have finally?? 🙂
I’m very ashamed of myself….
I never thought what I would feel if I were a beginner.
> It sounds very difficult to write business emails and letters in English.
I don’t think it is as difficult as making comments on this blog. There are some basic patterns when you write business letters in English, so if you follow those patterns, then you’ll find it isn’t very difficult. I guess you’ll learn it within three days!
> Do you remember that Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(総務省）told us not to spread chain emails about the earthquake?
Yes, if I can remember correctly, they said something like this, “Or you would fail to hear something more important about the quake or other matters.”(そうしないともっと重要な情報を聞き漏らすことになりかねない)
I didn’t spread the mail to others.
See you !
I took a look the last couple of entries of your blog, and I admire your passion for English. I don’t think it’s easy to keep updating your blog every week. I should learn from you. Anyway, as I read your translation, there were some parts where we took his words differently.
>A customer tried to order breakfast without spam, but whatever he chose seemed to come with spam.
But I took his sentence like this:
I think there were about six of them. Anyway, when they found out they had won, they just didn’t turn up for work the next day.
But I took like this:
There were about six people in the group. I mean, 宝くじに当ったバスの運転手が６人位のグループだったのでは？？
I am not sure so could you help me David???
Yes, Okinawan people like pork(we don’t say スパム but ポーク.）Because there are not only Spam but a lot of other companies’ products. My family’s favourite was Tulip. If you are interested in Okinawan food with pork, please visit Tulip web site, you can find some recipes 😉
Oh, I should be in bed.
Good night and sleep tight,
I see. Maybe “Spam” is the most well-known pork meat products company in Japan, because they air commercials of “Spam”. I think I’ve heard of “Tulip” as well. I’ll check their site later. Thank you !
Actually, I thought so, but I was not really sure.
In addition to amo’s suggestions, I found the following translation a bit strange…
> she was stuck in England and needed money urgently.
I understood like this,
See you !