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Friends Don’t Let Friends Commit Crimes

Another day, another scam email. This one has the audacity to call me “Friend.”

Dear Friend,

I got your e-mail address contact through your country’s Information Exchange On
line while browsing and after that,I decided to contact you to ask for your
assistance in this urgent matter that requires trust, confidentiality because you
might receive this message in your Inbox,Junk/Spam folder.

My name is Mr. Nafiz Karadere senior Manager of ( GARANTI BANK OF TURKEY) I am 55
years old man,married with four children.

I have a very urgent,confidential and profitable business for both of us Valued at
$25.5 Million (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United state Dollars).
This fund is an excess of what my branch in which I am the senior manager made as
profit last year. I have already submitted an approved End of the Year 2015 report
to my Head Office and they will never know of this Excess.I have since then, placed
this amount of $25.5 Million (Twenty Five Million,Five Hundred Thousand United state
Dollars) on a SUSPENSE SECURITY without a beneficiary.

As a senior Manager of the bank,I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I
am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money as the beneficiary
of the funds. If we could do this together,we shall share this funds 50/50 between
us accordingly and this transaction is 100% risk free,as no-risk involved in this
and this is going to be a direct transaction. All I need from you is to stand as the
original depositor of this fund.

If interested,please write back for more information,while I shall explain more in
details as soon as I got a response from you if you are interested.

Thanks for your kind understanding,awaiting your response!
Best Regards,
Mr. Nafiz Karadere


  1. I know of no such Information Exchange (or Information Exchange On).
  2. If you read this carefully, you will see that “Mr. Nafiz Karadere” is embezzling the $25.5 million. Also, I’m pretty sure that what he’s asking you to do is a crime.
  3. Get the name of the country right, dumbshit. It’s United States.
  4. What is a “suspense security?”
  5. Too many spacing mistakes, among many other obvious errors.
  6. If he submitted an end of year 2015 report, why did he wait a year before writing this? It smacks of criminal action, if you ask me.

Until next time! Use the right words!

February 23, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Hope You Stay Stuck in That Airport

This is not about President Donald Trump’s travel ban that caused people to be unable to leave various airports. If you read the latest scam email I received, you will see why I hope this con artist stays stuck in some unnamed airport.

As this is a shorter letter, I counted only 12 mistakes. Don’t make it 13 by calling the phone number. It’s a Columbus, Ohio area code.

Dear Card Owner,
This is to notify you today that I Mr. Rex Anthonio have already arrived to your
country yesterday with your ATM CARD which is valued at $1.5 million united state
dollars Sent from European Union branch Turkey. Kindly send your information for
reconfirmation, to avoid wrong delivery. below is my telephone numbers; (614)559
(1)Your Full Name:
(2)Mobile Phone Number:
(3)Current Home Address:
(4)Fax Number:
(7)Nearest Airport :
Note that am in an airport right now waiting for your e-mail, so kindly send your
complete delivery information as I have directed you,to avoid misplacement.
I am,
Rex Anthonio

I typed “Aimes Delivery Company” into Google. No such name came up.

Until next time! Use the right words!

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networkers Say the Darndest Things

Whenever I go to a networking event, I make sure I bring either writing utensil and paper or my phone’s notepad app so I can record the “golden utterances” of certain people.

After an earthquake, water turns into gold — I would prefer if water stayed water. I can’t drink gold.

Some of you are in this room right now — The rest of us are out to lunch. Or disguised as empty seats.

I know this little documentary filmmaker — How tall is this documentary filmmaker? is he as tall as Verne Troyer (2 feet, 8 inches)? Warwick Davis (3-6)? Kenny Baker (3-8)? Danny DeVito (4-10)?

Or, how little are the documentaries? To qualify for Academy Award consideration, they’ve got to be no longer than 40 minutes.

Until next time! Use the right words!

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Doth it Scam? Let Me Count the Ways

Dear Email Spammer/Scammer:

If you want to gain my trust/attention/money, you’re going to have to do better than this. The mistakes are so numerous as to strain belief (these are like “alternative facts,” which I’m sure you don’t understand). Still, I will point out a few in the hopes that maybe you’ll see how ridiculous you are.

  1. It’s not addressed to anyone, unless someone you know is called “Dear.”
  2. The name is spelled two different ways.
  3. It’s missing numerous commas, at least one period, and twice there isn’t space between words when there should be.
  4. “resident London?”
  5. The cancer is unnecessarily capitalized.
  6. If you’re really an American citizen, why do you write about making donations in my country? My country is your country.
  7. Nobody I know writes “crave your indulgence.”
  8. Emphasize not “emphasis.”
  9. “Sincerity” is unnecessarily capitalized.
  10. “Inasmuch” is one word, not three.
  11. “reaching out you?”
  12. “Charity” is unnecessarily capitalized.
  13. “someone” is one word, not two.
  14. No one I know says “luxury of time.” They just say “time.”
  15. You obviously haven’t heard the term “burying the lead.” This is where you put the most important part down in your letter. In your case, you buried the lead about as far down as possible because $7.5 million (note how I wrote that) and how you want assistance in giving it away is the point of this email.

Dear ,

I am Wilson Ben an American citizen but resident London where I am currently
hospitalized for treatment of Esophageal cancer and therefore, in need of your
assistance. I intend to make donations to the poor and less privileged in your
country as a matter of urgency and utmost importance to me and hereby crave your
indulgence to read this letter with with all seriousness and the desired attention
that it requires

I wish to emphasis that this proposed project is based on absolute trust, integrity
and Sincerity of purpose in order to have a consensus of like minds.

In as much as I would not completely rule out the possibility of doubts in your
heart in respect of this letter as a result of the activities of internet fraudsters
which has made genuine and legitimate businesses a bit cumbersome,I will
nevertheless, implore you to consider this piece as about my only way of reaching
out you with a view to making you a potential partner.

At the moment, I do not have much hope as I have lost my voice already and think it
is prudent that I begin to make arrangement for the management of my estate as I
have no children to survive me or inherit my estate. It is my plan to give out my
estate to Charity and I am looking for some one to assist me do this hence this
mail.It is hoped that you partner with me on this. I would appreciate a response as
I do not have the luxury of time. The amount involved is USD 7.5 Million dollars.

Best Regards,

Willson Ben

Conclusion: English is not your first language, and unless you’re trying to scam people whose English is like yours, you don’t have much of a chance to meet your objectives.

Move along.

Until next time! Use the right words!

February 7, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fake News, Alternative Facts and a Scam

We’ve been hearing a great deal about “fake news” and “alternative facts” lately. While President Trump and his lackeys have nothing to do with the following email I received, I nonetheless consider this on par. It is fake, it presents alternative facts, and it is a scam.

Happy New Year and Good day to you…I am very sorry to contact you in this manner
because we have not meet before so i might look like a stranger to you but I’m not.
I need your trust and Co-operation on this proposal. I got your email address on
Business Directory on Internet, Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Mike
Smith a Security Vault Manager. I am seeking your urgent assistance and trust to
stand as Next of Kin to my late client who leave behind funds/inheritance of ( Ten
Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ) in a Trunk Box with Gold Bars
and I want this Trunk Box to be ship to you for Investment purpose. This transaction
is 100.1% Legitimate and Genuine, No risk involved. Kindly get back to me if you are
interested in this proposal. Also send me your direct cell phone number.

Best regards

Mike Smith

I counted 27 grammatical and punctuation mistakes. What did you tally? Leave a comment.

Until next time! Use the right words!

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Call It What it Is: Propaganda

I don’t usually get political in this space, but when it comes to words, I’ll go there if something happens in the political arena.

Last week, President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, blasted the assembled media for their “shameful and wrong” reporting that the crowd for Trump’s inauguration wasn’t the largest ever. This was in spite of photographic evidence that showed Barack Obama’s first inauguration was vastly more attended.

During a “Meet the Press” interview two days after the Trump inauguration, adviser Kellyanne Conway, when pressed during the interview with Chuck Todd to explain why Spicer “utter[ed] a provable falsehood,” Conway said, “Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

I say, call it what it is: propaganda, “ideas, facts or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.”

Incidentally, Todd responded by saying “Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”

I say, isn’t that partly what propaganda is?

It’s going to be a long four years.

Until next time! Use the right words!

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gallagher: Another Wordsmith

Before I truly appreciated the words and wisdom of George Carlin, I knew of Gallagher.

Most people who know him know that the finale to his act is to smash things with a giant wooden mallet that he called the “Sledge-O-Matic.” The finale always was smashing a watermelon. I remember that, too, from his many Showtime specials in the 1980s. But now, I find the Sledge-O-Matic distasteful, and if I ever go to a Gallagher show, I will certainly sit in the back, away from the “splash zone.”

Instead, I marvel at his word play, such as the following from his 1981 special, “Mad as Hell:”

Why is there so much unemployment when there’s so much work to do?

If you write a check that bounces, … what does the bank do? Charge you more of what they know you don’t have any of.

You look at the pyramids in Egypt. You think, now there stands an example of man’s initiative, hard work and stick-to-it, and it ain’t. It’s a monument to his laziness. It was obviously built by people with diminishing goals.

We buy weights to get in shape; put ’em in the garage, have an electric garage door opener.

Why does it take robbers an hour to clean you out but it takes two weeks for you to move in? Robbers ought to be movers.

Do Indians bother with bald cowboys? (Note: I know the term now is “Native Americans,” but this was 1981.)

What could it cost to put a toilet in a Mercedes? Call it the Outhousen 100. Then the Japanese get wind of it and counter with the Toiletta. Then America comes back the the P-car. He (guy in audience) says a dump truck.

Why can my car take a leak on the freeway but I can’t?

Word that don’t go together: air quality, hamburger steak, military intelligence, House ethics, grand children, marijuana initiative

God made flying squirrels. Why? So they can swoop down and surprise unsuspecting acorns?

Until next time! Use the right words!

January 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commonly Misused Words

My wife sent me something on Facebook from a Harvard professor named Steven Pinker, who lists commonly misused words. Although the article, from Business Insider, is dated Dec. 17, 2015, it is nonetheless accurate to today.

Here are eight, which include some I’ve misused.

Adverse means “detrimental” and does not mean averse (“having a strong feeling of opposition) or disinclined (“lacking desire or willingness).

Begs the question means “assumes what it should be proving,” not “raises the question.” This is one I would misuse if I used it, but I don’t use it because it’s a cliché and I believe you should avoid clichés like the plague.

Speaking of which, Cliché is a noun, not an adjective. The adjective is clichéd.

Bemused means “bewildered.” It does not mean amused (“pleasurably entertained”)

Hung means “suspended.” It does not mean “suspended from the neck until dead.” That is hang.

Ironic means “uncannily incongruent.” It does not mean inconvenient (“no easily accessible; untimely; not suiting one’s needs”)  or unfortunate (“suffering from bad luck; unfavorable; regrettable; marked by misfortune; sad”). Not is irony coincidence (“something that occurs by chance”).

Nonplussed means “stunned” or “bewildered.” It does not mean bored (“made weary by dullness, tedious repetition, unwelcome attentions,etc.”) or unimpressed (“not affected deeply or strongly in mind or feelings”). This is one I have misused.

Phenomena is a plural noun. The singular is phenomenon. Phenomenons is incorrect.

Until next time! Use the right words!

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Year but Same Old Media

I firmly believe that the media’s job in the coming years is to question everything that the media are told, take nothing for granted and verify everything.

In other words, the media need to do their job. But it’s harder for me to take the media seriously when they get things wrong. Yesterday, I heard two examples.

A local radio sports reporter called the parade that runs down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena every New Year’s Day (except when Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday) the “Rose Bowl Parade.”

As a native of Pasadena (born and raised), I have always cherished the parade and considered it my own. I have missed two parades since 1974: 1986, when I sold concessions at the Rose Bowl; and 1987, when I was in Palm Springs. This year, I watched from the TV area, and it’s something I think every parade lover should do at least once.

But I digress.

The name has always been Tournament of Roses Parade or Rose Parade for short. How can it be called Rose Bowl Parade when the parade started in 1890 and the first football game (called the Tournament East–West football game) was 1902? Since that 1902 game was so one-sided (Michigan 49, Stanford 0), there were no more football games until 1916.

The other disagreeable uttering came on ABC-TV in its promo of the upcoming interview with Lyle Menendez, who with his brother Erik murdered their parents and are serving life-without-parole sentences.

The exact words: “Before O.J., this was the original trial of the century.”

I knew this to be wrong. I recalled reading that the trial of Bruno Hauptmann (see: Lindberg Baby Kidnapping) as a “trial of the century” way back in 1935.

Wikipedia calls trial of the century “an idiomatic phrase used to describe certain well-known court cases, especially of the 20th century.” It then lists 22 trials (including five in the 21st century) that earned that moniker, from the trial of Leon Czolgosz for the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 to the Bo Xilai trial in 2013.

Famous cases include Sacco and Vanzetti (1924), Leopold and Loeb (1924), Scopes monkey trial (1925), the Nuremberg trials (1945-46), Adolf Eichmann (1961), Charles Manson and his “family” (1970), Claus von Bulow (1982-85) Klaus Barbie (1987), O.J. Simpson (1995) and Yolanda Saldivar, who murdered Selena (1995).

The Menendez trial is not listed. I did a search of “Menendez Brothers Trial + Trial of the Century” and the only match I found was ABC hyping its special.

Come on, media, get with it!

Until next time! Use the right words!

January 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment