Flames, friends, and rules

Subject: Flames, friends, and rules
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- MATIS -dot- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1993 11:25:18 IDT

Does anyone know where the e-mail meaning of the word "flame" comes from?
I heard it at my college radio station in the sixties, referring to similar
writing in pen-and-ink messages left publicly. Could it possibly be that
I was close to the inception?

Though having no source except anonymous oldsters, I believe that the friend
in need was originally one who appears in your hour of need and thus proves
he is a true friend, and that the expression (like "the exception that proves
the rule") aged badly, with an unintended meaning replacing the intended one.

PS - For those who don't know, "the exception that proves the rule" was
supposed to mean "the extreme case that puts the rule's validity
to the test;" a rule that applies even in exceptional cases is a
rule indeed.

Mark L. Levinson | E-mail: mark -at- matis -dot- ingr -dot- com
Publications Manager | Voice: +972-52-584684, ext. 230 (work),
SEE Technologies Ltd. | +972-52-552411 (home)
Box 544, Herzlia, ISRAEL | Fax: +972-52-543917
"Graphical user interfaces make simple things simple
and complicated things impossible."
- Marty Leisner

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