Tuesday, September 27, 2022
For men, women, and teens



The new word for spam emails: snit

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Last updated on .

line drawing of multiple envelopes representing emails

The problem with calling unsolicited junk emails "spam"

Unsolicited junk emails have traditionally been called "spam". The problem with that is that there is a brand called SPAM which makes a canned pork product.

On one hand, most people can distinguish from the context of a conversation if someone is referring to the SPAM brand of pork product or to unsolicited bulk emails. On the other hand, it seems unfair to the SPAM brand that due to the rise of email spam around the world, the word "spam" now has a negative reputation.

Imagine a world in which the SPAM brand of pork products did not exist but where the word "spam" still had its current negative connotations of email spam. Would anyone rationally create a SPAM brand in that world (regardless of what products it would sell)? Probably not.

It seems unfair to the SPAM brand that due to the rise of email spam around the world, the word "spam" now has a negative reputation.

"Snit" as an alternative to the word "spam" for junk emails

Therefore, why not call unsolicited bulk emails by an alternative name? Snit is a good candidate for this.

The word "snit" is defined as "a state of agitation" by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Therefore it's a word that already has negative connotations but which isn't going to be confused with the SPAM brand.

Advantages of snit as an alternative to spam for unsolicited emails

  • Not tied to an existing brand, unlike spam
  • The word snit has negative connotations, as does unsolicited emails
  • Snit can also look like s*it, which is another helpfully negative connotation for unsolicited emails
  • Snit works well as a noun or verb and in all parts of speech

Usage

Snit works well as a noun or verb and in all parts of speech where you'd be likely to want to use it to describe unsolicited bulk email. For example:

I received too much snit today

He was snitting our group chat with his promotional offer

Our mailing list got snitted today

I need to add an extra snit filter

Other information

In the U.S., there is is the CAN-SPAM act of 2003, which addresses the issue of unwanted commercial emails. The word snit could offer nomenclature opportunities for any future legislation, for example a hypothetical FlushSnit act.

You can learn more in Forbes about how the word "spam" came to mean unsolicited junk emails.


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