Spam, Ham–Thank You, Ma’am

The other day I blogged about homographs. Today I blog about ham graphs.

Ham versus spam

The Akismet function of WordPress not only detects “spam,” the creepers who try to invade my blog with commercial ploys and vicious scams. It also keeps track of the good stuff or the “ham,” the comments made by legitimate followers and other friends. Colorful bar graphs and pie charts show where my blog stands in both spam and ham. Of course, I’m happy to report that the ham is ahead.

Pork products seem to play a special role in my world of linguistics. In fact, there’s an interesting bit of family trivia on my mother’s side involving “the other white meat.” Hogg was my great-great grandmother’s maiden name. As fate would have it, she married my great-great grandfather, whose last name was Bacon. Needless to say, the local newspaper of the day had much fun with that particular wedding announcement when “a Hogg became Bacon.” To take it a step further, I like to imagine this couple getting into some kind of “beef”–now that would be a story!

So where is this going? I guess I’m just trying to say that words are fun. Words have their very literal meanings (e.g., ham = Iowa’s favorite salty pink meat), plus their connotations, idioms, etc. (e.g., ham = positive feedback on a blog, a show-off). As writers, we get to play with them all.

WRITING PROMPT 1: Use an interesting bit of family trivia to inspire one of your stories.

WRITING PROMPT 2: Begin a story or poem with an idiom (visit for ideas).


3 thoughts on “Spam, Ham–Thank You, Ma’am

  1. J. Eric Smith says:

    I grew up in South Carolina, where Spam was a staple. I moved to Iowa in November, and have been delighted to experience a vast increase in ham. I leave it to you to discern whether I speak of my plate or my computer . . .


    • Barbara Farland says:

      Well, welcome to the Upper Midwest! I am an honorary Iowan having married a native of Winnebago County (have you visited that one yet?) almost eight years ago. Lots of ham eating with that side of our families! But I still have a heart for Spam given its origins in my home of Minnesota. I assume you know that not far across the Minnesota/Iowa border is the Spam Museum? Looks like you’re a guy who likes his road trips!


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