What I learned from spam lately

Let’s go for a quick dip in the spam bath, everyone, because our lives aren’t absurd enough already.

But first, a health and safety warning. Britain’s big on health and safety warnings. One I heard recently consisted of, “Don’t do anything stupid out there,” and I appreciated how quickly it got to the point.  I’d been thinking of doing several stupid things at once and it saved me from all of them. The warning I’m about to issue is this:

A lot of spam is written by people whose first language isn’t English. (Some of it doesn’t seem to be written by humans at all, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.) I don’t make fun of people for not writing or speaking perfect English–at least not unless they’re trying to correct mine, as one spammer did. I’ve wrestled with enough languages to have great respect for people who can communicate even marginally in languages they didn’t learn as kids.  But if you’re sending out spam–messages that are meant (I assume, although I’ve never really understood the strategy behind them) to appear professional, or at least coherent–then sorry, but everything’s fair game.

For the record: I speak Spanish just well enough to hear how badly I speak it. I panic in several other languages so effectively that all I can hear is the sound of my brain moving the furniture to look for lost words. I do not send out spam in any of those languages.

Enough of that. Here’s what I found in the blog’s spam folder recently:

“We spent most of my puerility and all of my teenaged holidays near Land’s End, and we visited a few of the ancient monuments.”

Now, I do know puerile‘s a real word, but I’ve never really been able to believe it means childish. I keep thinking it should have something to do with pork. (That’s probably because I learned the Spanish word for pork, puerco, long before I saw the English word puerile, and if the connection isn’t obvious to you, don’t worry about it; it doesn’t have to make sense.) Puerility‘s also a real word, although I’ve never seen it used or heard anyone breathe life into it, so I’m going to guess it’s not on anyone’s top ten most used words list.

In spite of that, I’m prepared to testify that it’s not supposed to be used this way.

Still, I might’ve thought this was a real (if awkward) comment if it hadn’t opened with “Because, permit’s font it, back then the suspect ones would give been those anti-social weirdos who (then as now) opt to sopor alone – always assuming that they could yield their own(a) beds, of class.”

To which I can only say, “Listen, buddy, some people like to sopor alone, in their beds or in the damned kitchen if the mood takes them, and who the hell are you to get all judgemental about it?”

Irrelevant photo: field patterns near the Cornish coast

Whew. I feel better having said that.

Next up: “naturally like your web site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth on the other hand I will definitely come back again.”

I in finding it very bothersome myself. Will somebody hire this person as a proofreader, please? The English language will never be the same.

After that came: “It is essential that women that are pregnant make a labour program ahead of the wedding event arrives. It is because when a girl is at labor, she may possibly struggle to make selections like she generally does. Make sure you possess a handbag stuffed, opt for that you want in the room whenever you give birth.”

Whenever? Excuse me, but giving birth isn’t a whenever kind of event. I know some people have lots of kids–my grandmother had eight–but even then, it’s not something you do on a whim. It’s a big deal, people.

But there’s more here than just that. I wouldn’t swear to it, but I think the writer’s recommending that the woman give birth into the handbag. Or possibly in it. I admit I’ve never given birth, but neither of those seems like a good idea. I haven’t carried a handbag in decades, but I do remember what mine was like when I did. The backseat of my cab would’ve been more sanitary. So would the pavement at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Seventh Street.

I don’t actually know anyone who’s scheduled a wedding for a time when she was likely to go into labor. But if you’ve got a wedding coming up, it’s something you might want to consider when you get to the part of the brochures that say, “Are you looking for a way to make your big day truly memorable?”

The next comment may be related to the previous one, in a backward sort of way: “Will not spend your money on bedbug bombs. Alternatively, get some good Alpine Dust or some Phantom Aerosol and apply these products to your mattress. These no-repelling merchandise is toxic to sleep pests along with other pest however are extremely hard to identify, which means the insect is not going to conceal from it.”

I’m past the age where it’s is an issue anymore, but there was a time when I’d have paid good money for a phantom aerosol that repelled pests from my bed. Where the hell was this advice when I needed it?

That survey cleaned the best stuff out of my spam folder, but (since we all know you hang on my every word) I thought I owed you more, so I dipped back in over the next couple of weeks and eventually I found this:

“A dog’s label must basically be employed when positively getting together with the animal. Contact the dog’s brand to have him to come to your part or call his brand while you are serving his supper. Don’t, even so, contact your dog’s name if you are unhappy with his or her measures. The canine would in a negative way relate by using penalty.”

Now I do understand that a lot of people on the internet think of themselves (or their pets) as brands and have vague hopes of money flying through their windows if they sell themselves (or their pets) hard enough. And we have two dogs. So far, though, they’re completely innocent of all commercial activity and don’t think of themselves as brands. And for good goddamn reason. No one’s going to look at them and think, If only I had a dog like that my life would be complete. They’re dogs, and most of the time, they smell like dogs. Give them a chance and they’ll roll in dead fish and steal dirty underwear. If they can do both at once, they’ll be in ecstasy.

The point is, I don’t want to contact my dogs’ brand. I’d rather deal with the dogs directly: Bad dog. Put the underwear back where you found it, and no, we’re not going to negotiate this through your agent. Until you learn to dial the phone yourself, you don’t have an agent.

The joys of spam, part 2

Gather around, grownups, because it’s time to check my spam folder again.

The first gem says, “Hello! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!”

Bravery? That’s from someone calling him- her- or itself “mushroom cock,” which is in lower case type, so I’m going to guess it’s not a given name. I’d have probably have guessed that even if it used a few capital letters. I initially guessed the writer as male, for obvious reasons, but M.C. embeds the name Margaret in his, her, or its email address, tossing an element of uncertainty into all my assumptions.

I don’t know what it all means either, but I don’t believe in keeping these things to myself.

Yet another irrelevant photo: day lilies after the rain stopped

In another comment, Stormy writes, “I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet people, its really really nice paragraph on building up new blog.” That was in response to a post about manners in the U.K. and the U.S., but thanks anyway, Stormy. Sooner or later that’ll land on a post with exactly the paragraph you’re describing.

Zappya for pc says, “Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was a entertainment account it. Look complex to far brought agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?”

Good question. How could we communicate? With great difficulty, I suspect, but I’m basing that—I admit—on a very short writing sample.

Mind you, I don’t want to be snotty to someone who’s writing in their second—or fourth, or sixth—language. I know just enough of several foreign languages to be incomprehensible in them myself, and I respect people who speak multiple languages. Or write in them. Or at least try. On the other hand, if I was trying to spam someone into doing I have no idea what, I hope I’d come a little closer to marking out a topic—any topic—than this.

Speaking of languages, though, I’ve been getting a lot of spam in German lately. I‘d make jokes about them but I don’t know enough German to manage it. One of them, however, starts with “Howdy,” which I’m pretty sure isn’t conventional German.

The one that starts with “Wow,” though? That’s definitely standard German. I think it’s pronounced Vov.

Cqrunt writes, “Buxton is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada.When you are sitting in the splits it is like you are doing a backbend ? so you must have stretch in the anterior muscles at the front of the spine, front of the hips, and in the hamstrings of the leg devant. Actually, the better sites come with an enormous database of home which are approaching foreclosure. Reserve a particular be more placed into your financial savings one paycheck and deal with that like an alternative cost. Legislation and good innovation directed at reducing the consumption of electricity especially by gadgets is a good move.”

Yup. Words to live by.

Maurice says, “Fastidious response in return of this question with firm arguments and explaining the whole thing about that.”

Thank you, Mo. I do strive to be fastidious in my responses to the whole thing about that. Even when I have no idea what thing we’re talking about. It’s all good.

Others—. Oh, hell, I can’t be bothered copying and pasting all this crap, but I do notice a surprising repetition of blither about money, sports, prostitution, and sex in various other forms. Presumably because they catch people’s attention, or someone thinks they do, although what use that is when they’re too incoherent to make anyone click an irrelvant link is anybody’s guess.

And then, just when I said I was done copying and pasting, I found a comment from Corrugated galvanize panels which I just had to quote. CGP writes (twice), “When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!”

For a wild, disoriented moment, I thought that might be real. I once checked the Notify Me box, back when I first started blogging, and I’m still getting the occasional brainless comment on an About page from a blog I didn’t care about to begin with. Why did I check that box? No idea. Like Everest, it was there. I never thought I was making a lifetime commitment.

So as a way to get attention, this isn’t a bad approach, although I doubt it would make me buy corrugated galvanized panels. They’re not an impulse buy kind of thing. And I have a stack of them already, keeping us from getting to the bathtub. Doesn’t everyone? They’re getting mossy. And how many does one household need?

Okay, before you worry about me: I don’t have a stack blocking the bathtub. But a neighbor has a stack outside his shed, and they’re visible from the road so I know they’re mossy. If I need any, I’m sure he’d share. He’s that kind of guy.

Merlinruh suggests I consider medication. I was ready to think about it, especially after the galvanized panels crack, but it turns out to be for thinning hair. Merlin says it will expand both new locks and present hairs, which is important because hair-thinning medication can sluggish my hair. Then she (the email address includes “isabella,” so let’s assume) tells me about watching currency trades.

With my sluggish hairs? I wouldn’t dare.

See my comment above about not making fun of someone writing in their second of fourth language—and the loopholes I’m leaving myself.

In response to a post about Trainy McTrainface, Frank wrote, “Տinnging worship ssongs is nice however that?s not the only waay tto worship.? DadԀy stated, perhaps to make Larry cease singing.

“?Ƭhere are lots of ways to worship.”

That’s entirely possible, but I’m not interested in any of them, thanks. And you can tell Larry for me that he should make all the noise he wants. I have a feeling the writer and Daddy both deserve to be annoyed.

William, at least, is straightforward. He compliments an unrelated post and invites me to check out his post on how to gain more followers on Instagram. Where I’m sure he recommends pulling people with all the grace and subtlety he displays here.

Payday Loans likes my comparison of newest and earlier technologies. In an article on tea. Which doesn’t mention technology and doesn’t need to. And then Maurice is back praising my fastidious response explaining the whole thing about that.

Damn, Mo. I really made an impression, didn’t I?

And then, as I do almost every time I wade through the sludge in my spam folder, I found a comment from Pit, who’s entirely real, entirely on topic, and on top of all that reads German, but in spite of those gifts regularly gets banished to the spam folder by forces I can’t control. Sorry, Pit. I don’t know what you did in some alleged former life to piss off the mighty gods of WordPress. I know you’ve tried to make it right with them, but have you considered human sacrifice? They might like that.