[AMRadio] Re: Why do some people capitalise "ham"?

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Fri Mar 7 18:40:48 EST 2008

I'm not sure that everyone who commented on this topic actually read my 
initially posted message and fully understood the subject line .

 This was not intended to debate  the merits pro and con of using the word 
"ham" to designate amateur radio.  I see the term in my amateur radio 
magazine collection going as far back as the 1920's and possibly earlier, 
and I have heard it in popular use for all the 49 years I have been 
licensed.  I use it regularly myself even though I believe the prestige 
associated with the term has been downgraded in recent times.

The origin of the term has been debated for nearly a century with no 
definite conclusions, so I doubt if anyone is going to discover it or come 
any closer to the answer here.

My question was merely in regards to the way I have often seen it written 
recently, with the word spelt in all capitals, as if it were an acronym.  To 
me, this seems dorky and "faintly embarrassing"*.  (* see 

And isn't AM a part of ham radio?  Therefore any issue regarding amateur 
radio IS an AM issue... perhaps even more so, since we probably maintain a 
higher profile to the general public than hams who run SSB, CW or data, with 
our voices carrying through intelligibly over shortwave radios, as well as 
telephones and other electronic devices that inadvertently act as radio 

Don k4kyv 

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