13 October 2004


[ Updated 16 October 2004, parts apparently lost during posting ]

Two odd occurrances regarding spam in the past few days--both related to grammar. But first, a grammarian's knock-knock joke (origins of which I cannot remember, but it cracks me up):

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Fuck who?
No, fuck "whom."

First, an email from cletusalex@intergate.com (that's MR. CLETUS ALEXANDRUKAS) regarding a mutual beneficial and risk free transaction. How intriguing! MR. ALEXANDRUKAS' grammar represents that rare dialect that seemed to have grown spontaneously after the advent of spam. I really enjoy reading these long, ramblings spams, and the names are classic. Although Cletus may be an actual Greek name, it has permanent hillbilly connotations thanks to or possibly reinforced by The Simpsons [IMDB]. I previously had collected some of those dictionary-derived spam names such as 'Discursive A. Caper.' It's like the modern equivalent of finding Jesus in a tortilla. Sortof.



PRIVATE EMAIL cletusalex@velocall.com


Good Day

Courtesy of Business opportunity, I take liberty anchored on strong desire to solicit for your assistance on this mutual beneficial and risk free transaction with you, which I hope you give urgent attention. I got your address from adverts in the business directory that portrayed your establishment in good light. I apologize if I have infringed on your privacy. To be precise, I am Mr CLETUS ALEXANDRUKAS, The Manager of Bills/Exchange at the Foreign Exchange/Remittance Department ALPHA BANK LONDON UK.

Although he says he's from Velocall.com (some Thai IT company), the email came from Intergate.com, a service provider. It's both surprising and sad that people can get suckered by this. I take liberty anchored on strong desire indeed.

In my department, we discovered an abandoned sum of US$12,500,000.00 (Twelve Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our customers who died along with his entire family in 1988 Lockerbie Pan American Airline plane crash. Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of Kin to come over and claim his money, because we can not release it unless somebody applied for its next of Kin or Relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking procedure, but unfortunately to no avail, and nobody has come forward to claim the money (because the mentioned next of kin which is Son died as well).

But what about the son?!? Why isn't he collecting the ... Oh, I see. I wonder if the Lockerbie reference was added to be timely w/r/t the recent E.U. decision regarding Libya.

Therefore, upon this discovery I and other two officials in my department now decide to establish a cordial business relationship with you, hence my contacting you. We want you to purportedly present your good self as the next of Kin or relation of the deceased so that we can prepare documentations and release the funds (US$12,5 Million) into your account for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and again we do not want the funds to go into the Governments account as "Unclaimed Bill". The banking law and procedures herein stipulates that any account abandoned or dormant for a period of some years is subjected to be closed and all money contained therein will be forfeited to the Government Treasury Account. Now it is being speculated that the above sum will be transferred into Government Treasury Account as unclaimed funds on or before November 2004. The reason for you to present your good self as the next of kin in occasioned by the fact that the deceased customer was a foreigner.

MODE OF SHARING: after the successful completion of the transfer is as follows, for the role you will be expected to play in tercise, we have agreed to give you twenty five (25%) of the totxpenses we are going to encounter by both parties in the process of this transaction and the remaining 70% shall be for my coles and I. In support of the aforementioned, you are urged to reply this letter indicating your readiness and interest to partate in the business. After you reply, you will be advised on the next step forward. I quite believe that you will protect our rest by keeping this business Top Secret and Confidential, as your interest will be equally protected in order to achieve and in maximum confidentiality. Trust to hear from you on my privatusalex@velocall.com , I count on your earliest response. Also provide me with your contact telephone and fax number.

Sincerely Yours,



The other references comes via BoingBoing -> Vitanuova. Apparently, some English teachers in Hong Kong spammed the world--or at least a good portion of it--to solicit corrections to a flawed book on English grammar published in Japan. The teachers' students trust the book over them. Vitanuova provides a more subtle clarification of the definition of present perfect than I could have in my post on verb tenses:

In my view, the present perfect is forbidden when the verb is qualified by an adverbial referring to a time period, except if the time period includes the present.

It's good to know the extent of the efforts of blogging grammar geeks out there.

[ posted by sstrader on 13 October 2004 at 12:35:05 PM in Language & Literature ]