Constipation rapturous

Spare a thought for the art (or the artlessness) of the spam.

I do not know what it is that makes spammers tick, but I cannot imagine that writing code for subject headings is at the top of their, ah, priorities. Does anyone seriously think that a reader will be intrigued enough to open email with the following incomplete, illiterate heading?

“Re: whoeve = felon”

You know what the spammer (or his code) was trying to get at, but we can see right through the trick. I would think that the vast majority of all spam is titled this way, offering no obvious incentive to the reader.

But other titles are a little more subtle.

“Low-Profile Company With High Profit Potential”

Whets the reader’s appetite, but for the name of the “sender.” I, for one, do not know any “Madge Peters.” (What, no algorithm for Asian addresses?)

Other titles are suspiciously complete, with initial capitals and a period.

“I don’t do therapy or engage in any form of treatment with patients here.” (from “Dorothy”)

“Your storm is headed my way, now.” (from “Kline”)

“But what’s in a name, my sweet Rom-Rom.” (from “Matilda,” whose relationship with sweet Rom-Rom I can, like you, only guess at)

Still other titles depend on some sort of shock value.

“The flat-out refusal to yield to Christ our Lord.” (from “Morris,” an evangelist who drives a hard bargain)

“I mean, how do you kill a community?” (from the appropriately prophetic “Correa Elijah”)

And there are the emails from senders one ought to be familiar with.

A letter titled “mark fib,” for example, from “Jesus Christ” (no less)

For my money, however, the “best” series of subject headings in 2006 spam was the forced-to-fit two-word combination: “sigh solemnity.” “Acrobat filigree.” And so on and so forth. The hands-down winner: “constipation rapturous.”

In 2006 they sprouted like digital mushrooms. I don’t think they tempted anyone to open any letter, but in their randomness, their beautiful absurdity, they often sounded like refrigerator poetry.



Filed under Readings in Media, Spiral Notebook

2 responses to “Constipation rapturous

  1. exie

    O frabjous day! Calloo, callay!

    May the new year make our constipation rapturous,
    bring solemnity to our sighs, and amaze us with the sight of filigreed acrobats!

    A happy new year to you and your great blog.

  2. Thanks, Ex! For dropping by, and for reminding me how close those two-word headings often came to the portmanteau words Lewis Carroll saw through the looking glass. Just today I received this in the mail: “fun corpuscle.” Gets the blood running, doesn’t it?

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