🥫Helping You With Learning English To Speak Fluently And Have Fun💚 Ep 268


Hi there you are listening to Adept English
and this is a listen and learn podcast. My name is Hilary and I created this listen and
learn method to help you speak English fluently. It’s much more enjoyable if you learn English
in the way that your brain naturally wants to learn. I live in the United Kingdom. I’m
a native English speaker. And I love helping the hundred thousand students who listen to
us every month. Every week we give you two English lessons in the form of podcasts. So
listen to Adept English. You’ll be on your way to speaking fluent English in no time. Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast
from Adept English. If you want good quality listening material, to help you with your
learning English to speak fluently, then your search has ended. This is exactly what we
provide – how to learn English speaking at home. Support for your learning and support
to improve your learning English to speak fluently in conversation. Here’s a word which all English speakers
would know – and a word, which is used in other languages as well, I think? Or at least
the more modern meaning of this word is perhaps in your language. And that word is spam, S-P-A-M.
A couple of minutes on Google Translate tells me that there are many languages where the
word ‘spam’ is used – and that some languages clearly have their own term for
spam. But you may not know its full history, where it comes from…or why. So this will
help your spoken English listening to this podcast, but also help you know the stories
behind the words, which English speakers know. So if you have the word spam in your own language,
you’ll know that it’s the word you use to mean all those emails that you don’t
really want to receive. Most people have a spam folder – or a ‘junk mail’ folder
in their email. So that’s the place where your email software puts the emails that come
in, that it recognises as ‘spam’. And sometimes if you don’t receive an email
when you expect to – your spam folder is where you might look for it. ‘It’s gone
into my spam folder’ is what we say. So for unwanted emails, usually from companies
who’re advertising or selling a product – the noun ‘spam’ is used. You can also
use it as a verb ‘to spam’ – and if you spam something, it means that you send it
to lots of people, regardless of whether or not they’re interested in your email. So
companies, businesses who are known for sending spam email are called ‘spammers’. You
bought something five years ago from a company – and you’re still receiving their email
advertising. It may be going into your spam folder in your email, so you may not even
notice, because you don’t look in there! So the word spam is good to include in your
learning English to speak in the office, at work! Well in the US and the UK and probably other
places in the world too, SPAM is also known as a brand name – and this is where the
term for unwanted email comes from – or at least it’s part of the story. SPAM, S-P-A-M
and it’s usually in capital letters it’s quite an old fashioned product. I don’t
know anyone who would buy it now. It is a kind of meat in a tin – it’s ‘pressed
pork’ in fact, so from a pig. Apparently the name SPAM came originally from Spiced
Ham – shortened to SPAM. So yes, it’s a portmanteau word to mean spiced ham in a
tin! Yum yum! Not something most people would want to eat now. However, I remember as a
child, this was a cheap meat that sometimes you might find in your school dinner – instead
of proper meat! Or people used to put SPAM in their sandwiches. It’s the sort of thing
that used to give British cooking a bad name. But tinned SPAM was in fact invented in 1937
by Hormel Food in Minnesota in the USA. And SPAM was very popular during World War II
– of course, because it doesn’t go off, it doesn’t deteriorate. It’s convenient
to store without a fridge or a freezer. Fridges weren’t routine in World War Two time.SPAM
was cheap to buy as well. So you could keep a tin of SPAM in the cupboard for years, and
it would still be OK to eat, when you opened it. Where of course, even with a fridge or
freezer, fresh meat doesn’t last very long. Sorry SPAM, but it’s just the kind of meat
which we don’t like today – that’s if you eat meat at all, of course. It’s very
pink and very processed – and I think that if you are under a certain age, you’ve probably
never eaten SPAM, even if you live in the US or the UK! It’s the sort of meat product
which we’re told is very bad for our health these days! Just pausing a minute there to say to you
that if you’re enjoying this podcast and you like our other podcasts, we do operate
a service where you can go to our website at adeptenglish.com and download 50 of our
podcasts at one time. Yes, that’s fifty podcasts, 50! Just imagine how many hours
listening, how much it would help you with learning English, to speak fluently, to understand
so much more! How to speak English fluently? Adept English podcasts are a good way to go. So back to today’s subject. Why do we call
our unwanted emails SPAM? What have they got to do with cooked pork in a tin? Well, In the 1970s in the UK, there was a
very popular TV programme called ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’. You may have
heard of it or you may not – it’s really old. One of the people in it was John Cleese
– whom you may know from another old film ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ or from the series
‘Fawlty Towers’. Again that’s a very old series, but something you could watch
with subtitles to help improve your spoken English. I’m sure you would find episodes
of Fawlty Towers online. Anyway in ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, there was an
episode where they did a comedy sketch about SPAM. The joke was that SPAM was so cheap
that it would be used as a sort of filler for meals in cafes, in school dinners. SPAM
would appear in lots of dishes where you wouldn’t expect it. So in the comedy sketch, everything
on the menu came with SPAM. Whatever you ordered from the menu, it contained SPAM meat! And
there was even a song in the sketch about ‘Lovely SPAM’. There’s a link at the
bottom of the transcript, which you can find on our website at adeptenglish.com, to YouTube,
where you can view this comedy sketch. So when people first started to use email, they
were of the generation who grew up with Monty Python. And when they started to experience
spam email, they started to be spammed, then this was an obvious name to give to the unwanted
email. And this was in the days before email software was clever enough to have a SPAM
folder, or a SPAM filter. Clever enough to know what email you might regard as SPAM.
So you can imagine what a pain SPAM email was back then with no filter. So this word
SPAM seemed very apt for describing the phenomenon of unwanted, but constant email. That’s
a really good example of how the English we speak is influenced so much by our popular
culture. Words start out as slang, but then become the accepted, normal word. So ways to use this term SPAM? You can practise
your speaking skills with these phrases Well, you can use SPAM to mean your unwanted
email – as in ‘Oh, I receive a lot of spam’.
Or you might talk about your ‘spam filter’ – that’s the software which is clever enough
to recognise spam email and not put it into your email inbox.
Of course, there’s your ‘spam folder’, within your email – where occasionally you
might search for emails which have gone missing, but which hopefully contains all the emails
which you don’t really want to read. And then there’s the verb ‘to spam’
– which means to send out lots of emails to people, who probably don’t want to receive
them. And there’s the word ‘spammer’ – which
we use for a person, or for a company that sends out lots of spam. If you like what we’re doing on Adept English,
and you’re learning English to speak fluently then subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’ve
previously been more of an audio, a listening only presence on the internet. But if you
listen to us YouTube, you can help us by subscribing – but what you also get is the written words,
with correct, accurate British spellings as well as the audio of the words you can hear.
So how to speak English easily – or at least more easily? There’s a solution! Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to
you again soon. Goodbye. That’s the end of this podcast. Don’t forget
to visit our website for other podcasts. You can sign up for our free seven day course.
And if you’re really serious about learning English course one is ready for you to buy
and download. Adept English helping you become fluent in English.

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