Cycling spam

Spam seems to go in cycles – right now in my bulk mail folder I’m getting mostly stock picks. I don’t know why – I’ve never owned a share in my life except the ones that we in British Columbia got from the government in the 80s – each person in BC got 5 shares of the British Columbia Development Corporation – which, of course, are worth absolutely nothing now. But I remember that the certificates were pretty and I have a friend who has hers in a frame on her wall.

The penis enlargement and please your woman cycle seems to be slowing down, while the pharmaceutical cycle is heating up. I sometimes wonder whether the cycles are in some odd way related to me, but if so, I can’t figure out why for weeks on end I got dozens of grow your penis emails a day.

And I’ve noticed as well that the titles change – the content doesn’t, but the titles do. Right now, the pharmaceutical people are using words that remind me of the way we used to see swear words in books – R%xlsk*() – except they almost all use Ph and then go from there. But the stock promotion people are using weird double-barrelled made up titles:

Better-life, wood-girl
Tree-hunter, cold-life
River-fire, chill-tiger

I’ve made those up (except for the wood-girl, which I remembered) but you get the picture. It’s as if someone has created a program that picks four words from the dictionary and puts them together pretty much arbitrarily, but occasionally, as with better-life wood-girl, they make a strange and interesting kind of sense. It would be a fun program to have – because titles for books and stories are often hard to create.

Just four words…

So you’re a mystery writer and your book has a cat and a house and a police detective but you have no idea what to call it. So you fire up your program and you spin the bottle and you end up with (I of course don’t have the program but I’ll use my dictionary (I use the Concise Oxford if anybody cares), open it to any page and pick a word, and then continue it four times) –

Mellow-mythos, shuffle-discipline

Okay, so it works almost as well with a dictionary, although I bet their program, based on what I’ve seen, tends toward one single-syllable word and one two-syllable word. Better rhythm, I expect.


7 responses to “Cycling spam

  1. I seem to get an awful lot of the Viagra ones. My favorites were the ones they sent out around Christmas: “It’s the holidays! But cheap Viagra!” Um…huh? Maybe you’re supposed to leave it under the tree for Santa?

  2. Reminds me of an eighties strategy for coming up with the name of a rock band. When Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman disbanded the Turtles—Don’t Walk Away Renée and Happy Together—and needed a name for their next group, they put pieces of paper into three hats. One hat contained adjectives. The second contained names of animals. And the third, the names of people. As a result, they dubbed their new band Flourescent Leech and Eddy :D, later shortening it to Flo & Eddy.

    Do you think Howard and Mark have got a new gig in the financial world? 😉

  3. Great post, Kate. I didn’t know you wrote comedy, too. It’s best to start the day with a laugh. I used to get upset when I had a lot of spam in my email, now I just delete them. But you’ve opened a new door, I’ll try studying them, not for content but for marketing style.

    Good Post 🙂

  4. Wally, I always read at least the re line – you never know what you’ll find there.


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