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A colleague received a fantastic Nigerian 419 scam email today. In this masterpiece of an email, the eloquent Mr. Abdullah Mohammed explains that:
Now, it's hard to feel sorry for someone who has "cancer of the lunges" because you would think that if he stopped lunging, the cancer would stop growing. In fact, that's the only thought I had when I read that email. If he'd taken the time to get the spelling of "lungs" correctly (and I wasn't aware of the fact it was a scam) I would probably have taken his email far more seriously, although it would have been far less amusing.
This problem isn't confined to spammers though. We recently stumbled across copy on a very respectable business' About Us page which read:
Over the years, we have amassed an excellent workforce and I believe that we have proven these sentiments beyond doubt as we now have an impressive 38 employees, 15 of whom are productive.
So, of the 38 employees, 15 are productive. The first thing potential customers might wonder is why the other 23 unproductive people are still employed. Then they might worry that this shoddy approach to productivity would spill over into customer relationships - what if they ended up dealing with one of the 23 instead of the 15?
When we told the company in question about their copywriting blunder they were amused by their own mistake but were also very quick to change the text. They understood straight away that if they don't convey their message correctly then the recipients won't understand it.