Important: How to Recognize Spam

September 18th, 2010

Spam, the bane of the Internet.  But millions of dollars are being spent on new and sophisticated techniques to slip spam messages past us.  Here are indispensable identifiers to help you spot it and grind it underfoot.  ALL EXAMPLES ARE GENUINE AND WERE RECEIVED ON THIS SITE.

It starts off on-topic and quickly veers astray, often into surrealism.

Example: Fascinating post. Will have to add my own skills as i’m very well generally known as a fantastic kisser. You might adore kissing? Kissing can be something that we desire to do and speak about about regularly without having to get bored. Almost nothing is better a great sensual kiss. Nothing definitely makes the birds appear to play louder, the lawn might seem greener than a good kiss. Kissing indicates interest. It’s possible erotic or just love, however it will do it the same. She’ll be thrilled to experience the lips on hers. Make sure, you’re never going to receive a lot of kisses in your life long. Analysis: “Nothing definitely makes the birds appear to play (play?) louder, the lawn might seem greener than a good kiss.”  This is not on-topic.  It’s not even in English.  The sober attempt at a return to sanity, “Kissing indicates interest,” doesn’t go far enough.  I’m not certain there is a far enough.

It starts off badly and goes downhill from there.

Example: Good morning Each.  Same days ago I found great site (www.xxxxx) with articles for snurkeling and diving. This is kind of portal, i don’t know. Enybody uses this site?  I’m planing to write to them but don’t know polish. Do you be acquainted with how write in polish the words diving and snurkeling? Analysis: “Good morning Each,” while cheerful, is not widely used, at least not in my circle.  And the Polish word for “snurkeling” is “snurkeling.”

It attempts to pass as folk wisdom.

Examples: Three “everyday expressions” from the past week.  These may be said all the time somewhere, but I don’t want to visit. (1) With wealth one wins a woman. Uganda. (2) Who goes to Rome a beast returns a beast. And my favorite, (3)  Much cry and little wool.  Analysis: If these are viral attempts to start new catch-phrases, they don’t seem to apply to many everyday experiences in my frame of reference.  Although I’m hanging onto “Much cry and little wool.”

It makes your teeth itch when you try to figure out what it means.

Example:  You may from not intended to do so, but I over you suffer with managed to express the voice of mind that a tons of people are in. The common sense of inadequate to expropriate, but not crafty how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. Analysis: Actually, on this one I give up.

It makes you want to answer it out loud the first time you read it.

Example:  Lets say my real name is Lola Sparkle-Gem (Okay, Let’s)  And my username was cheespuffgirl 1497@gmail.com (That’s not what it is! That was random!) (Is it ever.) And then instead of saying my real name, (Uh-huh.) it says my username… (Ummmm.) How can i make it not say that and change to my real name!?! P.S. It started out as my real name then i changed it for some reason (For some reason?) and i want i to change back… (Honey, it actually doesn’t make any difference at all what you’re called.)

It sounds like it came from Dianne von Fursternburg.

Example: Admiring the actual time and effort you place into your own blog and in depth information a person offer! I will search for your blog and have my personal children check up here often. Thumbs up! Analysis: This is unimprovable.  I can only accept your” thumbs up” with humility and hope you can keep track of your “personal children.”  It would be terrible to confuse them with all those other children

There!  That was easy, wasn’t it?  Go forth and battle the forces of spam wherever it may be found.  Excelsior!

8 Responses to “Important: How to Recognize Spam”

  1. fairyhedgehog Says:

    You get much more interesting blog spam than I do! I mostly get a string of Chinese characters (which may not even be spam if I could read them but I bet it is) or someone telling me in general terms that they like my blog or post and come visit their blog.

    My rule of thumb is that if it’s the first time someone comments and they leave a link – it’s spam.

  2. Hitch Says:

    OMG, that was hilarious. Man, I gotta get your spammers. Mine just suck, and certainly aren’t auditioning for Saturday Night Live. It figures, Hallinan, that YOU would hog all the funny ones to yourself, you selfish prig.

    With much honor wondrousness, I expropriate,

    Hitch

  3. Colleen Says:

    Your spamalogue certainly opened a can of spam — perhaps forespamming a spamathon? All this spam-speak begs us to explore the joys of spam in a Spam-A-Rama, culminating in a cyber Spam-Off, which could in turn spawn The Best of Spam, and ultimately The Spam Bible, all promoted by a Miss Spam World contest — or would it be Spamiverse? In spam I am…

  4. Beth Says:

    Tim – My daughter wanted to know what was wrong. She’s forgotten that some things are so funny the laughing turns to wheezing.

    At first I thought that it was just that I was on the list of people who get boring spam and I should try to get on your list. Then I realized it is the analysis that kicks it up more than a few notches.

    Beth

  5. Emily Bronstein Says:

    You’ve actually received this type of spam?? These days it’s been My Life, the G.I. Bill and Dupuy Hip replacement lawsuits (you did realize that every joint of my body was redone with one of these medical devices).
    em

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Ahh, thank you, but I can claim credit for very little of this. The real jewels come from the anonymous minions in Russia and Uzbekistan and, oh, I don’t know, Upper Romania if there is one, who so painstakingly crafted these.

    Emily, FHH, and Hitch — I have to confess that I saved these up for a few weeks and that my spam, as a whole, is distressingly long on erectile dysfunction and human growth hormone. But when these arrive I seize them with both hands.

    Beth — Glad it made you laugh. Someone else wrote to say I’d made her wake her husband up, and he wasn’t even on the same floor. Another friend suggested an acronym NSFSR, Not Safe for Silent Reading because she had to cover her mouth to keep from awakening the husband sleeping beside her.

    Hmm. Maybe I wouldn’t get all this erectile dysfunction spam if the spammers knew how many women read me while their husbands are asleep. And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t erectile dysfunction used to be, like, personal? Remember personal?

    Colleen, spam is the only luncheon meat that gets bigger, like a snowball, as it rolls downhill. Many scientists have risked their personal children in experiments to understand the phenomenon and so far the score is Spam 12, personal children 0.

    By the way, many of these BEG to be read in a faux-Russian Boris-and-Natasha accent. Try to read the kissing one out loud in that accent. If you can do it without laughing, you need a humor transfusion.

    By the way a guy named Steven Thomas sent me a great line from Richard Adams in response to my September newsletter: “They hung in the air exactly the way gold bricks don’t.”

    Nobody in the world but Douglas Adams could have written that line.

  7. Loren Eaton Says:

    Uber-odd short-fiction podcast The Drabblecast did something brilliant recently: They ran a short-fiction contest where you had to write your own Nigerian spam-scam email. The winner (here) not only won cash money, he also had his entry spammed to everyone on the show’s mailing list. Pure brilliance!

  8. Larissa Says:

    Wow. Positively absurd. I think I may have caused serious brain damage I was laughing so hard on a few of those…and I”m drinking hot coffee! You should warn people first! (c:

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