Posts Tagged 'grammar'

How to Deal With Spam Scams

The Benevolent and Protective Wingleader, Instinct, was insistent (in his kind-hearted, yet gruff manner) that I post the following.

It all started with another member of our conservative cabal, Michael (husband to the lovely laborer over lumpia, Jennifer), who forwarded a new take on that old chestnut, the Nigerian Official-in-trouble spam scam.  Here’s the original letter, as forwarded by Michael. (Thanks, buddy–with friends like you, who needs enemies?)

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION

(INTERPOL)

WASHINGTON DC

EMAIL: interpol@gestores.com (EDITORIAL NOTE:  links have been deactivated in the absolute likelihood that there is SOMEONE in cyberspace stupid enough to click on it!)

To Whom It May Concern,

This is to formally notify you that the agents of the Federal Bureau Of Investigation from Albany New York has just visited us this morning to report your case regarding a huge fund that was issued on your favour from Cotonou, Republic Of Benin.

The said fund they said does not carry any official document’s that certified that the fund was free from being laundered and they claimed that you have been informed of the case since past two weeks but fail to comply with them by paying the clearance charges of $450.00 according to them.

The report was brought to us given that we are the International Criminal Police Organization and you are therefore deemed as a non law abiding citizen of the United State Of America which now means that you will come up against us the INTERPOL.

But given that we have not heard from you to know what the situation is then we have suspended the immediate arrest until we heard from you but failure to hear from you within four (4) working days will lead to we coming straight to your home address for rapid arrest as all your contact details was submitted by the FBI.

Get in touch with us immediately so that we will advise you on what next to do to avoid getting yourself in a very dip problem that you will live to regret. Note that we are working for the interest of the whole world which means for your good and for the good of the rest of the world.

Below here are where you will contact us to advise you on what to do next to solve out the problem

Secretary General’s Name: Ronald K. Noble

Email: interpol@gestores.com

Be urgent because your failure to respond immediately will lead us to swing in legal action against you with immediate effect.


Thanks,

Ronald K. Noble
Secretary General

What, then, was my first reaction to this laughable attempt to be intimidating threatening?  What can I say?  I pulled out my RED PEN OF SEVERE DISPLEASURE and bled all over it.They don’t call me the “Grammar Nazi” at the school where I work for nothing–so since I felt my reputation was at stake, I went and edited “Secretary General Noble’s” letter.  Take a look.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION

(INTERPOL)

WASHINGTON DC

EMAIL: interpol@gestores.com

To Whom It May Concern,

This is to formally notify (split infinitive) you that the agents of the Federal Bureau Of Investigation from Albany New York has (should be “have”–subject/verb agreement) just visited us this morning to report your case regarding a huge fund that was issued on your favour from Cotonou, Republic Of Benin.

The said fund (insert comma) they said (insert comma and choose another verb with similar meaning) does not carry any official document’s (OOH, my pet peeve–using apostrophes to make plurals!  Wrong, wrong, WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!) that certified that (too many “that”‘s–revise) the fund was free from being laundered and they claimed that you have been informed of the case since past two weeks (“FOR” the past two weeks, not “since”) but fail (should be in the past perfect tense in order to agree with the other verbs in the same sentence) to comply with them by paying the clearance charges of $450.00 according to them (omit last three words; they are redundant).

The report was brought to us given that we are (awkward and stilted phrasing) the International Criminal Police Organization and you are therefore deemed as a non law abiding (should be “non-law abiding”) citizen of the United State Of America (check your political geography; we are the “United States of America”–PLURAL)which now means that you will come up against us the INTERPOL(too collouqial and awkward at the same time–revise).

But given that we have not heard from you to know what the situation is (insert comma) then (omit) we have suspended the immediate arrest until we heard (should be simple present tense) from you (insert comma) but failure to hear from you within four (4) working days will lead to we (change “we” to “us”) coming straight to your home address for rapid arrest as all your contact details was (should be “were”–subject/verb agreement)submitted by the FBI.

Get in touch with us immediately so that we will (add “be able to”) advise you on what next to do to avoid getting yourself in a very dip (this word makes no sense here; perhaps you meant “deep”?  If so, again, it is unprofessionally colloquial–revise) problem that you will live to regret (threats are so IRS–revise). Note that we are working for the interest of the whole world which means for your good and for the good of the rest of the world (this sounds incredibly wimpy; especially if you are attempting to maintain an intimidating tone).

Below here are where you will contact us to advise you on what to do next to solve out the problem (Awkward and stilted to the point of incomprehensibility.  Get a native speaker to help you!!!!)

Secretary General’s Name: Ronald K. Noble

Email: interpol@gestores.com

Be urgent because your failure to respond immediately will lead us to swing in legal action against you with immediate effect (Again, your poor language choices make what is intended to be intimidation become incredibly laughable).



Thanks,

Ronald K. Noble
Secretary General

Gee, I hope Sec’y Gen. Noble appreciates my efforts.  Perhaps I should send him a bill.

I Can Has Dichotomy??

The Daily Kitten’s chat room is becoming a mother lode of source material!  I have Arcalian to thank for this one–gratitude FUZZ!

LOLBAT saves the day!
LOLBAT saves the day!

So how in the name of Merriam-Webster can I support this obvious abrogation of proper English grammar and spelling?  Simple–it’s funny!

Let’s face it, would Al Jolson have had as much impact if his one spoken line in The Jazz Singer been “You haven’t seen anything yet”?  Would we UGa alumni get as fired up shouting “How about those dogs?”  If Huckleberry Finn had used proper English, who would have been absorbed in his adventures, or would he have had them at all?

Don’t get me wrong.  I still believe that if I could find the person or persons responsible for developing text message slang, that as an English teacher, my slow, torturous cold-blooded murder of them would be found to be justifiable homicide in any courtroom for all the remedial teaching I have been forced to do–with HONORS students, no less!

That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with our language, as long as it’s done in the right place–sites such as I Can Has Cheezburger are a great example!  It all started with HappyCat.

The animal species expanded with the very next post–there are now lolbunnies, and lolhamsters.  Most famously, the lolruses stay in search of their stolen bukkit–a saga that has not only inspired a movie but even an invented storyline for 24 (that has, sadly, been removed from YouTube).  A lolcat version of religion has even emerged.

As popularity grew, ICHC branched out as well.  There are now sites for loldogs (or “goggies,” as the lolcats refer to them),  funny graphs, political humor, doppelgangers, and (most recently), an outsider’s view of English.  Checking out “lol”s brings joy to me, and often makes me say “Dang, I wish I’d thought of that!”

And that’s not entirely a bad thing….


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