March 01, 2004

Mr. Spam Man

I've noticed that the pseudonyms in the From: field of the spam I receive are often rather peculiar, so over the past few days I've made a little collection. A few of them look like they are generated randomly without regard to phonotactic constraints. Either that, or Rqhegqc Uohadoj hails from a place with whose language I am unfamiliar, possibly another planet. Others, such as Cocix Kubofyh, look like they are randomly generated by a system that pays attention to phonotactic constraints, though these could be the chance result of an unconstrained system producing some results that happen to conform.

The majority consist of real words or words very similar to real words. My guess is that the spammers generate the names by random selection from lists of real words, possibly with some random changes too. Here are some examples:

Corpuscles S. Alter
Decalogue J. Renowning
Quartet P. Depress
Wilburn Houser
Agglomerations B. Malls
Service Kwazi
Shauna December
Sarah WacArnolds
Whirling I. Screenings
Denmark R. Willful
I don't know whether these people work together with the ones who generate band names.

[Update 2004/03/01: Glen at Agoraphilia also noticed these curious names. And I just received a piece of spam with a particularly humorous pseudonym: Lassoing F. Tiresomely. Another particularly good one just turned up: Reevaluating I. Dogmatist. And another: Evacuees M. Colorblind.]

Posted by Bill Poser at March 1, 2004 01:27 PM