From spam to bacn

I have learned a new word, though I’m quite familiar with the reality.  From  BBC News – Why your inbox fills with bacn instead of spam:

Bacn is becoming what spam once was – the nuisance that fills up your inbox and makes it hard to pick out the important messages you have to read and which require a reply.

Bacn is all those reminders, newsletters, notifications, limited offers, alerts and other ephemera sent by websites, e-tailers and other services you have used ever since you made your first mouse clicks on the web.

It is called bacn because those messages sit in the middle of a short continuum between what tech folks call spam (fake meat/junk mail) and ham (real meat/real mail). Those messages are bacn because they are not quite real messages but are not quite junk either.

“It’s a problem in as much as it can get in the way of doing your real work,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos. “Some people have signed up for so many newsletters and mailing lists it gets hard to find the essential messages.

“Bacn can be a productivity problem.” he said, adding that it was stuff you probably wanted to read, just not right now.

Cans of spam Bacn is meatier than spam but not as real as ham

Glance at your email inbox and the bacn is easy to spot – and chances are that there will be quite a lot of it. Many webmail providers, notably Gmail and Hotmail, have introduced tools that help people sweep it into a folder that they can look through later.


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  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    The ‘original definiton:

    bacn definiton

    The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) is an airborne communications relay and gateway. Flying at extremely high altitudes

    Nothing like doing a copy of granny and gramps – so that one doesn’t need to think futher than their computer screen 😆


    Bacn (pronounced as “bacon”) is Internet slang for email that a user wants to read, but not right away.

  • How can bacon ever be considered a nuisance? It is the most beautiful thing on earth.

    I invoke Gaffigan:

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    This is why I have several filters set up on my email account I use for church purposes and a different account I use for eBay, Amazon, and other such sites. Combined it means I have about 3-4 bacn messages a day excluding the emailed calendar reminders. Otherwise, yes I would be buried under bacn. Of course, now I want some real bacon, well there goes the diet. mmm bacon.

  • helen

    Sunday our high school youth group did breakfast (their primary fundraiser for Higher Things) … bacon and egg tacos! Hot Cross buns. 🙂 There were pancakes, too, but I let them go, in favor of more bacon.

  • cbaggettjr

    Is the memory used in these emails called bacn bits?