Sunday, April 3, 2016

Please.....Stop Calling it "HAM" Radio. It's "Ham", "ham", or "Amateur" Radio

OK, I'm a gonna vent here......

When referring to Amateur Radio, please don't use the term "HAM", in all capitals.

All capitals implies that the term is an acronym, like NASA, and it's NOT.

Nobody knows where the term "Ham" originated from, although there are many stories floating around. Whatever the origin, it has never been spelled in all capital letters.

Please, use  "Ham radio", "ham radio", "Ham Radio", "Amateur Radio", or some other variant.

Every single time I see somebody write something like "Yeah, I'm a HAM radio guy", or "I'm into HAM", or that their hobbies are "Guns, Cars, and HAM", I just cringe. It's almost as bad as the people who post online using all caps.

I've been a ham since 1964, and this is something that's only popped up in the last few years, probably due to the easy access of the Internet, and all the corruption of American English that goes along with it.

So, please, take a little friendly Elmer advice, and don't use all caps.


  1. Good point... ARRL is the 'preferred' if you want all caps...

  2. Thank you.

    It needed to be said.

    1. Yeah....reminds me of the time I was talking to somebody and they said "I'm into HAM!".

      I replied I was partial to corned beef, and it went completely over his head by several hundred thousand feet....

  3. Get used to cringing. ;-)

    Proper use of English is going the way of the Gutenberg press. Of course, you know this. I bemoan it myself, and worse yet, constant exposure to poor writing has caused certain dumb things to creep into my own writing. I usually catch myself on re-reading. I think most young people don't bother with even the slightest bit of proof-reading. Well, they lack the education for it to be useful anyway.

    We should beat them with a Wouff-Hong.

  4. I have been a Ham since 72, and I was told that the term came from a derogatory term for some with poor morse code keying skills, called a ham fisted amateur. Soon it was just shortened to calling that bad operator a ham. It eventually was adopted as a badge of honor, and that is how the name came about. It sounds just as reasonable as any other story. I am pretty sure like you that it is not initials for anything, either.
    Just my .02 cents. Worth even less, but for what it is worth, I always loved cw.

    1. The "ham-fisted amateurs" is one of many explanations for where the term came from.


Keep it civil, please....

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