Why you Engliz so poorly?


Have you received any of those Nigerian scam e-mails, where they offer you 20% of the cut if you support their totally legal transfer of $3 Million (or whatever amount) through your US-based account? Sometimes I want to try it out just to see who the dud is at the other end. Maybe he’s from the Nigerian part of town, and once I find him I can go smack him upside the head. Or better yet, maybe he’s the dude with the Dell sitting two chairs over here at Borders today. Yeah…as if.

Anywho, my point: one thing about these types of scams is that there is a consistent misuse of English, presumably because Dr. Blah-Blah is, of course, a non-native English speaker. And after all, he’s in a hurry, what with the $3 Million about to be confiscated if it’s not legally claimed in the next few nano-seconds.

What made me think about this is a related issue – the poor quality of the spam comments I receive on this blog. Every day I log in and see about 2 – 10 comments in the spam filter. 95% or more of these are easy for me to spot as spam,  since the grammar is so bad and the even the link is an obvious fake address.

It makes me wonder, what is stopping these folks from sending some semi-moral college freshman $50 to clean up their e-mails? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take the $50 to spend 3 minutes polishing up their scam letter. You know you would.

Then it clicked.

How do they get the other 5% (estimated) through our human spam filters?

Maybe they’re letting those other 95%ish be crap on purpose so we get used to spam being spammy, and we drop our guard on the other 5%.

OMG! Are we being trained to think that well written e-mails (and blog comments) are worth our time, just because the grammar is good? Think about it.

As we network more, meet people through FaceBook, LinkedIn and other on-line sources it becomes harder for our brains to keep a mental rolodex. Is Brian88@stupiddude.com my cousin’s new e-mail address? Is this link he sent me valid, since it is him. Or, was his e-mail BrianC@regulardude.net?

I’ll just have to hope his grammar is good enough, so I’ll know he’s okay…

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