Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Spam names

CNN reports that "as many as 9 out of [sic] 10 e-mails" are now spam. My academic e-mail address ("harvested," like a still-useful organ, from the university's website) brings at least 70 or 80 spam mails a day (probably 7 or 8 of every 10 messages). Some are automatically marked for deletion. Others, I have to look at. Before deleting those (unopened), I sometimes take strange pleasure in noticing the names under which these messages are sent. I especially like the combination of an over-the-top fake name (made, I assume, by randomly joining names and nouns) and a routine subject line.

Here are some of the "people" who have appeared in my mailbox in the last few days, inquiring about drugs, loans, "pos.sib.le mee.tings," and whether I want to be a hero in bed:

Laverne Askew, Dooley Eustace, Dionysius Godsey, Pansy Langston, Petronella Naumann, Wiley Q. Patricia, Snow V. Pius, and Patty Potts.
And best of all:
Smog Q. Carafe,
who might be a distant relation of Rufus T. Firefly.

Related posts
Achilles and stochastic
Introducing Rickey Antipasto
The poetry of spam
The folks who live in the mail

9 out of 10 e-mails now spam (CNN)

comments: 3

Anonymous said...

what's the error in 9 out of 10?

Michael Leddy said...

I couldn't call it an error, but "9 of 10" would save a word. : )

Anonymous said...

Mark Hansen, media theorist, is doing some pretty neat poetry based on lines in his spam email. Take a look, third column: http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~cocteau/.