Sunday, 4 January 2009


A typo in an email was all it took to rechristen the first month of the year: Ja-n-uary becomes Ja-m-uary, and there will be jam related fun for all. So, wondering what exciting jam related activities I could undertake this month, apart from making and eating the stuff, I googled 'jam related activities'... An amazing 271,000 entries popped up. [At this point my mother said, 'you really don't have enough to do. Would you like to make lunch?] Who knew there was so much Jam in the world. There is for example, the minaret at Jam in Thailand. Or jamming with jazz musicians. Or jam as an abbreviation for 'jamboree'. Or 'JAM'NASTICS' which is presumably some form of gym related activity for toddlers. Jamming the printer. Preventing the enemy from jamming your communications (anti-jam, which sounds like it should be something you take away from a picnic, or possibly a brand name for peanut butter).

These are of course homonyms: words which have the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings usually because they come from different origins. Unfortunately the origins of the word jam do not appear to be easy to define. The main guess seems to be that the meaning of jam 'to press together or squeeze tightly' is the original one, which led to the name being applied to crushed fruit. The jazz noun is tenuously suggested to be a metaphor from jam being 'something sweet'.

So a little jam to begin the year. Jam as many jam-related activities as possible into the month. Happy New Year.

Got to go. Have to make lunch :)