A list of funny facts, interesting info and trivia about emails
Sometimes, burdened by work and tasks, we forget the fun aspects of the modern world. Take for example emails. Yes, you may have 7 not-funny-at-all emails from your boss waiting for you when returning from lunch, your To-Do folder in Outlook may seem like the Forest of Despair - where many a message wondered, never to be seen again, Outlook’s “quirky attitude” may infuriate you, especially when it’s displayed before a deadline, but just remember how simple and even fun it is to communicate these days. Whether you’re a regular Joe, an emailaholic or you just can’t stand your Inbox queue, read on to have a fresher look on things!
Because emails take up so much of our daily lives and frequently come up in conversation, here’s a couple of fun & funny facts and (we hope) interesting trivia about them… feel free to wow your friends with your encompassing knowledge of the e-communications medium and be proud of being an email geek! *
* Results may vary depending on friends.
Celebrities and emails – will you get a reply?
Fun fact #1: Bill Gates uses email since at least July 16 1982, when a new local-area network connected all development machines in the Microsoft offices (his assigned username was billg from then on);
Fun fact #3: How about the Pope? Does he use email? Surprisingly… yes. Pope John Paul II was the first Pope ever and his email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. He even sent an email apology to the peoples of Oceania. [source:BBC]
Fun fact #4: In Season 14 of The Simpsons, Homer reveals his funny email address: email@example.com. This was set-up by Matt Selman, one of The Simpsons’ writers, who actually tried to answer all incoming messages as Homer… this was a fun but unfortunately impossible task, since he was soon flooded by hundreds and hundreds of them/day.
Fun fact #5: As opposed to Bill Gates, Apple’s Steve Jobs frequently answers emails from users, developers and so on, many times with funny consequences… of course, it has to pass through an assistant before, but there are many reports circulating on the web where he replied himself. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun fact #6: During Bill Clinton’s entire presidency (1993–2001), he only sent two emails. One was to John Glenn when he was aboard the space shuttle, and the other was a test of the email system.
Fun fact #7: Chuck Norris can send an e-mail with a pencil. His Gmail address is email@example.com.
General, fun & funny stuff about emails
Fun fact #1: The first email ever sent was by Ray Tomlinson in late 1971, and was actually received the same year… on a computer placed right next to the one where the message was composed.* [source]
* Actually, he received it a few seconds afterwards.
Fun fact #2: Before Ray, the email was just a file placed on the server, which the users were writing to. So, it was like sending someone a letter with the mailcoach, then receiving their comments on the same piece of paper, then adding to it and so on… wait, they were still using those funny mailcoaches back in the ’70s, right?
Fun fact #3: At the beginning, email was sent through a FTP(File Transport Protocol)-like structure, so an email address of the time could look like this: utzoo!decvax!harpo!eagle!mhtsa!ihnss!ihuxp!grg (where each “!” delimits a computer, and the user acts like a human router, guiding the message).
Fun fact #4: The “at”, @ sign was used by Ray Tomlinson to distinguish emails from users on other computers from the ones composed by people on the same computer as himself (and probably got all those Human Routers fired…). It was chosen because it wasn’t commonly used anymore, but still a standard symbol on the keyboard. Thus, now an email address was something like bob@computer2 (the .com part was added much later).
Fun fact #5: The @ symbol is known by various names, such as:
- in English: “at sign”,”at the rate”, “at symbol”, “at mark”, “commercial at”, “cyclips”, “ampersat” and “asperand”;
- its French name is “arobase” or sometimes “arrobe” or “arobe”;
- in Dutch it is called the “(little) monkey-tail”;
- in German, the “at symbol” or “spider monkey”;
- in Chinese, it is known as the “little mouse”;
- in Spanish and Portuguese it is the symbol for arroba, an archaic unit of weight (~25 pounds or 11.3 kilograms).
Hmmm… yep! Can’t even tell them apart…
Fun fact #6: On May 24, 2004—the 160th anniversary of the first public Morse telegraph transmission— a unique Morse code for the ‘@’ symbol was introduced: ·–·-· (dot-dash-dash-dot-dash-dot). This is the first official addition to the Morse set of characters since World War I.
Fun fact #7: Before everyone checked their Facebook accounts every 5 minutes, before we purchased mobile phones on the basis of “it can do Twitter”, there were email addicts. This is actually recognized as an addiction and there are many support groups for emailaholics, as well as studies and articles done on this subject.
You can also find a very interesting (although not funny article) here.
Fun fact #8: For 2014, Radicati Group projects 2.5 billion people will use email, from the 1.9 billion estimate of May 2009.
SPAM! SPAM! And more SPAM!
Fun fact #1: The first Spam email ever created was on May 3, 1978, advertising a new computer system. It was sent to 600 users of ARPANET, their addresses entered manually from a printed document. The funny part is that the person sending it didn’t know squat about the program, and his 600 addresses overflowed from the TO field into the CC, then into the actual body (some users were actually feeling left out because they didn’t receive it). You can view it here.
Fun fact #2: Unsolicited emails got the name SPAM from a Monthy Python sketch, in which a group of Vikings drowned the conversation in a diner by singing about spam (a luncheon meat). Spam makers Hormel later embraced the publicity and are now promoting SPAMalot, a musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. [source]
SPiced hAM, get it?
Fun fact #3: Richard Stallman, the creator of the GNU project, actually defended the first Spam email. This was, though, a different time and he made for a pretty convincing case (he was already receiving messages about stuff he didn’t care about – at least this one was mildly interesting). [source]
Fun fact #4: In the first half of 2010, almost 92% of all messages sent over the Internet were… unfortunately Spam.
Fun fact #5: Spam filters that catch the word “Cialis” will not allow important e-mails through because that word is also found inside the word “specialist”.
Fun fact #6: Each day, at least 260 billion spam emails are sent (based on a statistic of the Radicati Group from April 2010)… this amounts to more than 80 trillion unsolicited emails/year (that’s in 2010 – email usage is increasing, so for this year we are looking at an even higher number)!
Fun fact #7: Because Spam is best described in numbers, here’s some more, related to the Spam centers of the world:
- Top 5 countries where harvesters are located: Spain(15.7%), China(14.5%), United States(11.4%), Romania(6.0%), Germany(4.5%);
- Top 5 countries that send Spam: China (10.0%), Brazil (9.0%), United States (7.3%), Germany (6.5%), Russia (6.0%);
As of today, 05.26.2011, there are at least 85.061.400 identified Spam servers in the world and 591.882 active ones.
Well, that about does it for this week! We hope you liked our pick of funny and interesting email facts and please share your own experiences in the comment section or by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, don’t forget that there’s a tool designed for every job, and we currently have a whole toolbox for your email needs. For a limited time only, you can benefit from a $10 discount on:
Easy Mail Merge for Outlook – send that funny picture of a cat to all your contacts, straight from the Outlook interface, as simple as pie!
Bells&Whistles – make sure that you won’t send your boss an email full of dirty jokes by mistake ever again, as well as automate your greetings, signatures, attachment behaviors and many more (it provides over 40 features!), so you can have more time to browse those funny galleries.
A lifetime license for Easy Mail Merge normally costs $39.95, one for Bells&Whistles $29.95, but if you’re quick and email us at email@example.com we’ll take $10 off that price (30-day money-back guarantee, of course).
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