It isn’t necessarily accurate

I haven’t picked on commercials in a while, so I think it’s time I did.  Three targets today – one television, one radio and one from Facebook. Let’s start with the TV ad.

Recently the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been running ads touting the joys and ease of using on-line banking to pay bills.  One such spot shows someone getting out their chequebook, some stamps and envelopes in preparation to paying their monthly bills – you know, that thing we all do once a month.  The ad also shows their identical twin sitting at their laptop doing the same thing and finishing much faster.  CIBC is pushing this so hard you would think this is a new concept and the “best thing since sliced bread” (what really is the best thing since sliced bread anyway?  Just asking.)  News flash for CIBC: while I know you were the first to computerize your account records back in the ‘60s, I’ve been paying my bills on-line through my bank for a couple of years.  Time to join the 21st century.

Radio next.  I’ve been hearing an ad for Pearle Vision (did you know they’re part of the Lenscrafters group).  At one point the woman voicing the spot mentions something to the effect they consider eye care a “sacred mission”.  Don’t know about you, but anytime someone says something is a “sacred mission” I run the other way.  Everyone’s eyes are different – different problems, prescriptions, or whatever.  If these people are fanatical enough to consider eye care a “sacred mission” I worry whether I’m going to receive what I need, or what they think I need.

Finally, Facebook. If you have a profile, you have seen all those annoying ads running down the right side of the screen. Sometimes I think these are written by people who have only the barest knowledge of English. The other day I happened to glance at one that suggested I could buy a vehicle with bad credit today.  Now why on earth would I want to buy a vehicle that has bad credit?  My credit is pretty good so why would I want to buy something that’s going to ruin my record?  A few more minutes working on the text for the ad would have been well spent and cleared up any possible misunderstanding – such as what I wrote here.  Perhaps that I was educated back in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, when teaching English was taken seriously accounts for my “language police” attitude on occasion, so I blame the education system.  A sidebar on this one.  About three months ago, a man and his son applied for passports and that was when the man discovered his son couldn’t write his name.  Cursive script is apparently not taught in  Durham Region schools any longer. Printing yes, but actual handwriting?  Don’t be so silly.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

By the way, I usually write these postings in longhand, then enter them.

C.

I don’t need it

The following ad popped up on my gmail today:    Free Spell Check Toolbar – http://www.DictionaryBoss.com – Avoid Spelling Mistakes with Free Spell Checker – Download for Free!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t word processing programmes such as Word and WordPerfect come with spell check built in?  I know for a fact WordPerfect does because I sometimes use it, in fact I’ve got it set for Canadian English. I got Microsoft Word Starter as part of Windows when I got this system and yes, it too has a spell check feature (I just checked).  So why would anyone need to download a spell check programme from some outside source?

My concern with this particular programme being advertised is that I probably couldn’t make use of it for I suspect it is an American programme and would constantly correct words like “colour”. As I said, I don’t need it since I don’t use the American lexicon.  Another concern is this: what did they use as a source for their spellings?

Cat.

My head hurts

Following are two comments caught by WordPress spam filter.  These were intended for “Stick to the topic” (which seems to have become spammers’ favourite target on my site) and the other thing they have in common is that although they were under different names, they came from the same IP address.

I am shocked via the company’s written content with the web log. I just read content material using bated respir, and then I feel starving, because there are too little! Create concerning!

Suitable strike the niche tackled. Earlier this week When i talked over using this peers about this idea and even put forward the proposition when camping for the reason that I really don’t currently have. When i posted them to this web page, changed their particular scene on the condition.

My head hurts because I made the mistake of trying to translate these two examples of bafflegab into reasonable English.  I have no idea whatsoever what point either of these two comments are trying to make other than hope I’ll post them and give their websites some free publicity.   Well, that ain’t gonna happen.  Instead I’ll use them as material for another posting.

It appears to me these were originally written in some other language, then translated through some online programme into something resembling English, but don’t quote me on that.  They could truly be examples of the spammer’s knowledge and command of English.  I use the singular of spammer because these were from the same source.  I must admit I really can’t believe some of these people expect there messages will be posted when the language is so bad.  Then again, there are people for whom the use of a spam filter is a foreign concept, so yeah, perhaps the spammers are justified in their efforts.  But since most email providers have built-in spam filters and they are available free online for other applications, it makes no sense not to have one.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

I’m going to take something for this headache.  C.

Still off-topic

On January 29, I wrote a piece called “Stick to the topic” about the fact spam rarely has any bearing on the topic of the posting for which it is intended.  On February 15 I made mention of the fact this posting seems to have become the preferred posting on my site for spammers as I had to delete 12 more.  This morning there were another 5 comments.

Since I’m completely bored, rather than just delete them I’ve decided to use some of them as fodder for another blog and respond, through this posting, to this latest crop. I promise I won’t get obscene – I’ve already done that with my verbal responses.  I’ve removed most of the email addresses just to keep WordPress from getting upset and shutting me down again.

First we have this:

electronicsnews5.
Informative and precise…
Its hard to find informative and precise info but here I found…

I would hardly call a piece ripping into the poor English and fuzzy thought processes of a spam message “Informative and precise.”  Pay attention.

This is perhaps my favourite simply because it so precisely proves my point by being exactly what it is talking about:

DiamondClementine10512
Submitted on 2013/02/18 at 2:56 am

there is a great deal of spammy comments on this webpage. Have you ever believed about trying to remove them or installing a tool?

This actually started with words some may consider offensive, so I removed them both for that reason and that they did nothing to further the comment.  Oh yes, I believe!  That is why I have anti-virusware; anti-spam filters, and a firewall on my system.  I also believe that the WordPress spam filter does a marvellous job.  After all, it blocked your “spammy”  comment didn’t it?  The only spam on “Stick to the topic”, if you haven’t noticed, is contained in the body of the posting and is the one I’m dissecting.  Pay attention.

And finally, this little masterpiece:

Fridge2277
Submitted on 2013/02/17 at 10:14 pm

Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

About the only way this could be a useful blog would be if you were to use it to improve your English (and, by the way, yours could use improvement – that second sentence – ugh!).  By your last statement it appears you are admitting to being an expert in spamming, which is a very gutsy thing to admit.

Okay, I’ve had a chance to rant about something and I’m feeling much better now.  If you’re one who has a long weekend*, enjoy the extra day off.  Remember to hug an artist – we need love (and real comments) too.

Cat.

*Family Day in Ontario; Presidents’ Day in the US

**In the time it took to write this piece, “Stick to the topic” attracted four more spam messages.

Stick to the topic

On January 17 I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece called “Am I really Canadian?” about the fact I don’t like either hockey or Tim Hortons’ coffee.  That elicited one comment from a person who missed the humour, even though the article was both tagged and labelled “humour”.

This morning the following, intended as a comment on that posting, was in my WordPress spam:

tiffanyrunyan@
Submitted on 2013/01/29 at 12:44 am

I believe that is one of the so much important info for me.

And i am happy reading your article. However wanna observation on few general things, The site style is perfect,
the articles is really great : D. Excellent process,
cheers

I have removed the advertising site as well as part of the address and IP address to protect the ignorant.

First, the opening comment has no bearing whatsoever on the subject matter of the posting.  And, had this been written in anything remotely approaching proper English, I might have accepted the rest of the compliments.

“The site style is perfect” . I’m sure WordPress will be pleased to know someone other than me likes the format they call “2011″.

“Excellent process”.  I would hardly call a humourous piece taking a swipe at Canadian stereotypes an excellent process.

Despite the very WASPy sounding name, Tiffany Runyan, I suspect this was written in some other language and run through something like Google Translate. Either that or Tiffany never went to school.

That is the problem when people use spambots.  They frequently post comments that are totally inappropriate to the subject of the posting.  But, they do give writers like me something else to write about.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and proper grammar) too.

Cat.

My point exactly

On December 30 last, I wrote “Spam, spam beautiful spam” about the proliferation of spam in my WordPress filter.

This morning I found the following in that folder:

Gordon Tannehill
    
Submitted on 2013/01/10 at 12:59 am

I just want to say I am beginner to blogging and really savored you’re page. Likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely come with really good articles and reviews. Thanks a bunch for sharing your webpage.

I deleted the email information because it was for some weird site I wouldn’t visit on  a bet. Doesn’t this just prove my point?  “Good articles and reviews” – come on now.  I’m talking about the ways to tell a message is spam or phishing.  Okay, I’ll accept that could be called a “good article”, but a good review?  The way I frequently rip into the sender’s abuse of the English language could hardly be called a good review.

“Likely I’m going to bookmark you’re website”.  Only “likely”, not “definitely”?  Do me a favour and don’t bother.  And learn to understand the difference between homophones: “you’re” is an abbreviation for “you are”.  The possessive form is “your”.

I suspect this message was from a spambot because I can’t believe any human would be so stupid as to send spam as a comment on a blog ripping into spam.  Oh well, it gave me something to write about.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Flattery may get you deleted – reprint

If you’ve read “WordsupPressed”, you are aware that I no longer have admin access to my previous site, “Catsworld1″.  The site is still available for people to read however.  Over the past three months, I’ve noticed one of the more popular postings from Catsworld1 has been “Flattery may get you deleted” from September 17, 2012, so I’ve decided to reprint it here for my current readers and followers.

Flattery may get you deleted
Posted on September 17, 2012    

I found the following in my spam folder on WordPress this morning:

Amedar Consulting Group
amedar.pl x
Rady396@vp.pl
78.41.201.148    
Submitted on 2012/09/16 at 9:59 pm

I wanted to jot down a brief remark to be able to say thanks to you for all of the amazing pointers you are sharing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has at the end of the day been recognized with sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners. I would express that many of us website visitors are definitely lucky to be in a fine site with very many special professionals with good hints. I feel very much lucky to have used the webpages and look forward to plenty of more excellent minutes reading here. Thank you again for everything.

On the surface, this sounds good.  But let’s take a look at it.  First of all, this was intended for my posting “From my television”, in which I take a swipe first at a Lumosity commercial – the one with the line “exercising my brain is hard” (no it isn’t – try thinking) – then rip into YouTube for their refusal to remove that anti-Islam film at the request of the White House.

So right there, they’ve missed the mark.  As for “all the amazing pointers” about the only time I write anything remotely resembling advice is when I’m warning about the possible dangers of clicking on links in spam, or responding to requests to help move “x” millions out of some African nation, usually Nigeria or Burkina Faso.  “Sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners”.  Right.  The tagline on the profile reads “the world as I see it”, so I somehow have doubts my personal opinion would qualify as “sensible knowledge” unless the reader agrees with my views.

The “.pl” extension in the address indicates it comes from Poland, so I’m going to be generous (it’s early in the day and that may change) and say the awkward phrasing is the result of some online programme, such as Google Translate, turning the Polish into English.

I have written of other messages from Amedar Consulting Group.  I’ve also mentioned before that, according to an article I read, more and more scams and phishing expeditions are coming from that part of Europe.  According to what I can find on Google, they appear to be a legitimate company, but I somehow question whether a legitimate company would resort to spambots on blogging sites.  And that is what this appears to be – major league spamming.  I’m also suspicious when I get glowing comments like this from a company, especially a consulting firm.  If it’s that good, offer me a job 🙂

Like all of us, we’ll gladly accept genuine compliments, but we are also quick to delete obvious flattery and scams.

To my followers and readers, thank you.  Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Since it’s now Friday night, I’ll change that ending to “enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

And, considering what happened in Connecticut today, please pray for the people of Newtown.

Cat.

“on’s Gree”

on's Gree desktop Dec 15 07

I don’t know where the orgfinal blog went, probably somewhere on a back up disk, but there is a little story behind the photo on this posting   About 20 years ago, there was a building, the Metro East Trade Centre, in Pickering that had a huge “Season’s Greetings” sign on it every December.  This sign was apparently controlled by four separate circuits because, depending upon who was working which night, it would either read “Seas tings” or “on’s Gree”, usually the latter, and “on’s Gree” became a family joke. The building is long gone, but when I got into digital photography, I decided to see if I could duplicate that sign.  I realize the font isn’t quite right, but this was the results of my efforts.

So, to all my friends, I wish a hearty “on’s Gree”

Remember to hug an artist- we need love too.

Cat

Call me cold-hearted

The following was in my gmail spam when I checked it on Sunday night:

Sonia Wilson <bulgarisr@aol.com>
    
12:30 (11 hours ago)
        
to undisclosed recipients
I AM MRS. SONIA WILSON, A DEAF WIDOW TO LATE ROBERT WILSON FROM SEATTLE
WASHINGTON,USA. PRESENTLY IN ISRAEL RECEIVING TREATMENTS, I AM 61 YEARS
OLD, I AM NOW A NEW CHRISTIAN  CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF
THE  BREAST,FROM ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT
IS QUITE  OBVIOUS THAT I WON’T LIVE MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY
DOCTORS,THIS IS  BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. MY
LATE HUSBAND WAS  KILLED DURING THE U.S. RAID AGAINST TERRORISM IN
AFGHANISTAN, AND DURING THE  PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE WERE UNABLE TO
PRODUCE A CHILD.

AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTORS HAS
ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, SO I NOW DECIDED TO
DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO DONATE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH
IN  AFRICA, AMERICA ASIA, AND EUROPE. I PRAYED OVER IT, I AM WILLING TO GIVE
THE $8.6MILLION DOLLARS, TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED. RIGHT THE THE FUND IS
DEPOSITED WITH A SECURITY COMPANY IN USA. I AM OF AWARE THAT THERE ARE LOTS
OF SCAM IN INTERNET, I  SWEAR TO YOU WITH THE NAME OF OUR LORD THAT THIS IS
NEVER A SCAM.YOUR HELP WILL  SAFE MANY LIFE IN THE WORLD, LET GOD TOUCH YOUR
HEART TO HEAR MY CRY.

LASTLY, I ALSO WANT YOU TO ASSURE ME THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE FUND IT WILL
BE  USED FOR THE SAID PURPOSE.  MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF
GOD AND  THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY I AWAIT URGENT
REPLY.

YOUR’S IN CHRIST.

MRS. SONIA WILSON

Once again, the first indicator that, despite “Sonia Wilson” swearing this is not a scam, the fact it is sent to “undisclosed recipients” tells me she’s taken the name of the Lord in vain for “undisclosed recipients” is a sure sign it is a scam.

This message attempts to push all the right buttons
– she’s a widow
– her husband was killed in Afghanistan (appealing to patriotism here)
– she’s deaf
– she’s got advanced cancer and only six months to live
– she’s childless
– the amount of 8.6 mil is certain to attract attention.

But, as I said in the title, call me cold-hearted, for I don’t believe a single word of it.  She claims to be a new convert to Christianity, so why wouldn’t she just leave it to her church to use for the stated purposes?  As I said, I’m not buying her story. Perhaps if it hadn’t been typed all in capitals and used proper spelling, punctuation and grammar she may have a better chance of someone falling for it.

The only response this plea deserves is for those “undisclosed recipients” to hit “delete”.  But we all know that there will be people out there who will jump at the thoughts of getting their hands on that money. And of course they won’t even consider its intended purposes.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Editing ain’t easy

A friend, Rusty Blackwood, has asked me to proofread her manuscript for “Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary” and I’m flattered she asked me.

In addition to the various rants/ravings/reasoned discussions I post here, I also write so understand the time and effort it takes to create a 900 page manuscript.  I also understand the trepidation of letting another person, even another writer, “mess” with your work.  I’ve  had people proof some of my manuscripts, so I also know the questions that pop up in the mind of the writer, such as “how badly will they screw it up?” and “will I still recognize it when they’ve finished?”

Fortunately for me, Rusty’s language skills are good, which means my editing is mainly looking for the dreaded typos.  I may also make the occasional comment, or ask about her  phrasings in certain instances, but those are only suggestions.  By no means do I consider myself the arbiter of all things proper in the English language.  And of course, while doing so, I keep repeating to myself “don’t ruin her work”.

When you are proofreading someone else’s work, if you’re doing it correctly, you are more concerned with context as opposed to content.  Naturally the two are not mutually exclusive, but the reader must be more concerned with catching the misspellings (“I can spell, I just can’t type” is my usual excuse for those) than with the storyline itself.  From what I’ve read so far though, I can’t wait until Rusty publishes this so I can read it for pleasure.

Okay, back to my reading.  Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist, no matter  what field of creativity – we need love too.

Cat.