“The tone, overall, has been near insane.”
Welcome to my first blogpost. I’m starting out with a bit of fluff to get things rolling. My original intent for my debut was a longish bit on Rudyard Kipling; but to be honest, this just seemed as if it would be more fun, and short to boot.
As I was researching the Kipling blogpost, I ran across a book title that was interesting to me, and I decided to search for a digital copy. One of the results that turned up was a site that purported to be a provider of free ebook downloads. The first few lines of the link were not promising, and in fact indicated that it was very likely to be a dodgy little trap for the stupid and the greedy.
Most people smart enough to know better wouldn’t have given it a second glance, would have stuck to the task, and moved on to the next link. Although I’m smart enough to move on, my compulsive curiosity often gets the better of me, and not being a big fan of Adderall, I found myself going off the rails and clicking on the dicey link, to review it for future reference and potential entertainment value.
I was not disappointed. Before me was a large block of text masquerading as a review of the title in question. I began to read, and it quickly became clear that it was a kind of phishing boilerplate, designed to plug the title of whatever book you were looking for into the appropriate paragraph. In a moral universe, you would read the faux review, attempt to download your free book, and in minutes your house would belong to Russian teenagers, because you deserved it for being stupid and greedy.
There are a couple of problems with this boilerplate approach. One, it is difficult to write this sort of one-size-fits-all thing and get away with it. Writers of horoscopes crank out reams of this meaningless crap every day, but they have mastered the art of spewing out generalities thinly disguised as specifics. Two, if one is to be successful at this game, one should be on familiar terms with the native language desired.
The result of their attempt was embarrassingly bad, for failure to consider the two reasons stated above. There are others, but two are plenty.
We all know that this is nothing new. Instead of a lengthy digression, there is a standout example, a true classic that any lover of language can appreciate, the ill-fated English as She is Spoke, published in 1883. A perfect disaster of literal translation, it has suffered numerous reprints up to the present day, purely for grins and giggles.
So, to get on with it, I present the equally disastrous phishbait here for your amusement, with poor spelling and bad grammar intact, in its original massive break-free paragraph, with the addition of a spurious book title and a bogus web address. Enjoy!
“Download full book! It’s no surprise that book reviews of Cat Booger Basketball — everybody’s have great reviews about it. LA Times and NY Times reviews gave the book Cat Booger Basketball 5 star rating. The B&N Review by top critic spends most of the time describing the plot, and delineating the differences between Cat Booger Basketball and other books as well as offering tidbits of dialogue*. Washington Post said that it is best book of the year for sure. And the were right! Cat Booger Basketball gets best reviews from everyone. It seems like this book has superseded its own status of book, and become more like a weather vane for the publishing industry as a whole — a sacred totem, because readers of Cat Booger Basketball go crazy about it. Could it be that massive popularity on this scale trumps any kind of literary merit? People are just going insane and stand in line for Cat Booger Basketball. It is very interesting, that even who criticize it change they view about Cat Booger Basketball and after that give book better reviews. The tone, overall, has been near insane. The criticism is spoken in a quiet small and that is mostly about marketing or other things that is not in concern of book. Fans follow Cat Booger Basketball on Facebook, author on Twitter and other social portals, on release date buzz was so big, that book run out of copies. But that’s such a horrible position for other books to be in — as readers in bookshop probablly will choose this book. I know that you have to review Cat Booger Basketball, but there is nothing bad to say about it, I read it 3 times already. Now reading forth time on my iPad. Trust me, it is so easy to read Cat Booger Basketball on iPad, it’s just perfect. Even pictures look good**. Anyway for summary if you don’t have Cat Booger Basketball then it’s time to download it on iPad! I mean who in this day and age keeps books in dust, digital copy is the way to go if you ask me. You can download Cat Booger Basketball at http://www.lyingasslanguagemanglers.com.”
*tidbits: i.e., cat boogers.
**No. No they don’t.