Thursday’s Children 7.4.13: Inspired by Spam


Today’s TC post is written in the cherished style of “rant,” and inspired by the obnoxious–and yes, occasionally hilarious–spam I find in my comments inbox. (By the way, thank you, Askimet, for keeping these off my homepage. I really don’t say that enough.)

Here are a few of my favorites: (along with my response)

“Some viewers are keen to watch funny movies, except I like to watch terrible video clips on YouTube.”

You and me both, random technology website bot. Sadly, this has ZERO to do with the post you commented on. [Deleted!]

“oh, we love the Strand and Mr. Jackson! what fun. did they bring any kittehs wif them? that seems kind of silly, if they didn’t. but next time, maybe they can have you and Miss K as special guests. that would be VERRA well attended, I’m sure!”

Um…whaaaaat? Who are you? What’s happening? Content issue. [Deleted!]

“I like this web blog very much. It is a rattling nice office to read and find info about subjects.”

No. [Deleted!]

“I Like it! I am such a sucker for a high ceiling, but will definitely use this next week to plan for consistency through the byes.”

The best part? It’s signed XOXO, Zeus.

“You did the a great work writing and revealing the hidden beneficial features of”

Ah, CLIFF-HANGER! What? What!!!? I must know what I revealed the hidden beneficial features of! Either it’s a state secret, or someone forgot to copy and paste.

The point:

Though most annoyed blog owners may not realize it, these crazy posts are a GREAT lesson in grammar and usage as aspects of user credibility. A misused/misspelled word (or twelve) can make ALL the difference between clicking “This is obviously spam, delete permanently” and “Wait, this might actually be a comment from my crazy aunt Mildred who’s admittedly still a little shaky on the concept of technology!” (Or whatever.)

(Now, you’ve probably already taken the step here and figured this out, but,) guess what, writers? This same concept applies to you and YOUR readers! Especially for you indie/self-pub authors, who might feel vindicated in posting a novel that hasn’t been professionally proofread because, “if the writing/story is good enough, people won’t notice/care about the errors.” (Or something along those lines.) Spoiler Alert: if you’re telling yourself this line, writers, you’re wrong. A lot of people care about proper grammar.

And yet, it’s not even really ABOUT that. It’s about (say it with me, here): CREDIBILITY.

Here’s why:

If you’re going to call yourself a plumber, you should know (and be able to effectively demonstrate your knowledge of) the way utility piping works. If you’re going to fix cars, you should be intimately familiar with the workings of an automobile’s engine. If you’re going to call yourself a PROFESSIONAL writer, (and ask people to PAY for your writing) you need to KNOW YOUR BUSINESS (grammatically speaking.) Otherwise, people won’t respect you as a professional, or want to pay for your service. All I’m saying here is, take a lesson from the spammers. Don’t let your message be dismissed out of hand because of a tiny, totally fixable error. (Or a bunch of totally fixable errors.)

Disclaimer: That said, nobody is perfect. (Then again, that’s what copy editors are for, right?)


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14 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children 7.4.13: Inspired by Spam

  1. Lol. Maybe we could form a grammar gestapo or silent ninja army, snooping around peoples’ blogs and leaving editorial corrections in “comments”? Your spammers might be way more entertaining than mine, it’s hard to say since most of mine are spamming me in Chinese at the moment and I can’t read Mandarin.

    1. Totally. We could be a secret society. Like Word Masons, or Literati. Until we become corrupt and start unseating dynasties, of course.

  2. I’m with Rhiann, actually, the majority of my spam at the moment has just been loads of Japanese characters, that I sometimes let Google translate to see if it even makes sense. But before that, it was lot of spam about Coach purses 🙂

    1. Ha! I think I got the coach one, too. Also, strangely, a lot of weird comments about programming.

  3. This is so true Veronica. I see so many typos and bad grammar in so much of what I read, novels included. It really annoys me after a while that people don’t check or have their work checked for them before publishing it. Great post. 🙂

    1. Exactly! It’s not even the fact that I can’t stand the typos. It’s the fact that I can’t stop asking myself “how lazy/careless is this person?” long enough to enjoy the story.

      Writer problem or reader problem? I’m not really sure which.

  4. Oh, me too! I want to join!
    This is one of my pet peeves, finding typos and errors in published works. We all make mistakes that are practically impossible to see for ourselves. That’s why we should have CPs and be CPs.

  5. Yes, yes, and YES. I’m self-published, and one of the things I’ve noticed is how much out-and-out bad self-published work is out there. A lot of people still associate “self-published” with “low quality”, and until authors start taking your advice, that will never change.

    That said, in the interest of full disclosure, I recently had to go back and re-publish my book after finding some embarrassingly obvious typos in it. Sadly, a copy-editor is not yet in my budget, but it is HIGH on my list of priorities 🙂

    1. Laura thanks so much for weighing in on this topic! It’s good to get the perspective of someone from your corner of the publishing sphere (wait…do spheres even HAVE corners? NM) because so many people out there will probably read this and be like “pshh, tell that to me when you’ve actually PUBLISHED a book, Veronica. Cause that s*** is HARD.” And I’m not arguing that. In fact, for me, that’s one of the many reasons I’ve chosen NOT to self-publish (at least not yet). Because I currently don’t have the level of comfort I’d like to have with the marketing and copywriting side of the business that I feel like I would need to survive in the current post-apocalyptic Indie Publishing landscape.

      Basically, what I’m trying to say here is YOU GO GIRL. And until that point when you’re rolling in dough and can easily afford an entire staff of copy editors (which, judging by your hilarious blog posts, will happen sooner than later) I hope you’re spreading the gospel of having good beta readers and CPs to your fellow indies. They’re seriously worth their weight in GOLD.

      (And hey, if you’re ever looking for another CP, I’d be thrilled to be one. Something tells me you and I have a similar taste for slightly dark and twisty MCs.)

  6. I can always tell when my favorite spammer has hit my blog again. They love to use the word fastidious, usually in a way that doesn’t fit the word. I’ve been very tempted to leave the comment just for that one word.

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