March 12, 2006

Pretty girl visiting your town

More evidence of the utter brain-dead character of the techniques that are being deployed to harvest email addresses from the lonely and the stupid: Here's the text of a spam email I recently received (on my birthday, in fact, though I think that was coincidence):

From Wed Mar 8 04:27:03 2006
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 07:29:16 +0200
From: "Carlos"
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.5)
Gecko/20031013 Thunderbird/0.3
Subject: spending time with you

Hope I am not writing to wrong address. I am nice, prettya looking girl. I am planning on visiting yoaur town this month. Can we meet each other in person? Message me back at

You are writing to the right address, Carlos (I suppressed the To: line above, lest it be harvested by yet more spammers). But don't you have a rather unusual name for a girl? Or is your sister using your account on a remailer in Finland to trawl for guys in the Boston area?

By the way, you have two spelling mistakes and two syntactic errors (anarthrous singular NPs) in the message. If you will permit a word to the wise for when you visit Cambridge later this month: guys around here — at Harvard and MIT — may expect a higher level of literacy than this, even from a pretty girl like you.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at March 12, 2006 01:11 PM