A couple of months ago fellow Scot Alan Gillespie, an English teacher and one of my Twitter PLN, wrote a very interesting and amusing article for The Guardian on the use of spam emails as an exercise in persuasive writing for students. It was such a compelling argument – and such an obvious context for learning and teaching an essential element of digital literacy – that the only wonder is no one had thought of it before. I urge you to read it (imperative mood, urgent tone) if you haven’t already done so.
Alan’s article caused me to reflect on the sheer volume of spam – or fake – emails and messages travelling across cyberspace, including those which appear as ‘comments’ in response to a blog post. Many of these are obvious fakes and are thankfully filtered out without the blogger having to read them. There are so many of them that I usually just press the ‘Empty Spam’ option and move on to read the genuine comments. Sometimes however, there are those which have been filtered out by WordPress’s filtering service Akismet which may actually be genuine but simply expressed in poor English. How many of these comments which have appeared on my blog recently would you have been tempted to ‘approve’, simply on the grounds that they might inflate your ego even further?
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While you are making up your mind, I must go and reply to an urgent letter from my friend Dr Mills.
Greeting in the name of our lord and savior, my name is Dr. Cadman Atta Mills the younger brother of late Prof. John Evans Atta Millis whose untimely demise on the 24th July 2012 whilst in office has distraught the heart of many Ghanaian both at home and in diaspora not excluding the international communities, taking into consideration the colossal condolence and glorious tributes we have thus far received from various Head of states including the president of the United States of America Pres. Barack Obama, Prime Minster of Great Britain David Cameron, Pope Benedict, Secretary of the United Nation Mr. Ban Ki-Moon the list goes on and on.My brother as I affectionately call him was the third President of the fourth Republic of Ghana. He was inaugurated on the 7th of January 2009 having defeated the ruling party candidate in the 2008 election. He once served as the vice President of the Republic of Ghana from 1997 to 2001 under the presidency of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings. Based on my position as member of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) chaired by Dr. Gobind Nankani I have very credible information of a contract in the total sum of US$ 6,500.000.00 (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) I’m seeking for an experienced business person who can chivalrously work with me in receiving this contract sum into his designated Bank account for an appropriate investment.It’s very vital I also bring to your notice that this transaction will be handled with absolute confidentiality, so we have to always do the needful to get it accomplished, it is very important also that you quickly provide me with the listed information as stated below to enable me commence with the official documentation of the contractual paper work with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Energy. Taking into consideration that we have from now till next month to finalize and officially submit all contractual paper work with the said Ministries.Upon the receipt of your responds I will officially submit all your particulars including the contractual documents for verification and approval by the Finance Ministry. I intend to part 50% of this fund to you while 50% shall be for me. I do need to assure you that there are practically no risks involved in this. It is going to be a bank-to bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original beneficiary of this fund you are not to worry as I will provide all legal documents, Contract document, International Competitive Bidding certificates, Bank documentation and also refer you to the Ghana Procurement Board to prove that you are entitle to this fund. You do not need to worry, if you do according to instruction everything will work fast and effective without any problems at all.I will immediately proceed with the contractual documentation and agreement with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and furnish you with all documentation for your meticulous perusal.I look forward to a very mutual and beneficial business relationship with you.Yours Faithfully,Dr. Cadman Atta Mills