Scammers are Artists, too.

I’ve been getting a lot of spam from scammers lately. Reading these eloquently constructed, high concept emails, I’m starting to understand why they are called scam “artists”. They truly are masters of the written word. I still think they could benefit from the guidance of an expert in the craft, however, so I’ve taken the liberty below to critique these pieces and provide helpful feedback that they could incorporate to make their very-true stories even more compelling (and grammatically correct)…

Dr. Mikko Juho needs some serious grammatical help for his VERY IMPORTANT MATTER:

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Before Ally Berg can be friends/companions/pen pals, she’ll need to focus on proofreading:

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Mr (sic) Anvanith Gui has some issues with specificity:

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Excerpts from My Grade School Diary

Apparently I’ve always had a thirst for romance and a flair for over-dramatization.

June 12, 1995, age 10:

“Dear Diary, I want someone who I can hold hands with, tell them I love them all the time. I want a guy that will tell me to hold his jacket or sweater or something. I want a guy who will not be shy and he will tell me he loves me all the time, too. Basically, I want a nice, attractive, romantic guy.”

April 20, 1996, age 11:

“Okay, here’s my DREAM DATE!! First it’s about dusk and we take a long walk along the beach. Then we come to a gazebo and it’s got mood lights all around with candles and great supper. After we’re finished there’s a boat on the shore, we cast off. When we’re far away from shore we put down the anchor and take out the seats and we lay down in the bottom of the boat looking up at the stars and rock back and forth.”

December, 1998 (A Dream), age 14:

“I’m riding on an almost empty bus with Brad Pitt. I am sitting with him and talking for a long while. I’m sitting by the window and he’s on on the outside. All of a sudden I lean over and we’re kissing. We kiss for a long time (which is VERY good). We are on the way to Hollywood. But as we get closer Brad turns into a snot. The process is slow, but eventually he is really snotty with a snobby attitude.”

January 3, 1999, age 15:

“Only a year til the Millennium! Happy New Year! Me and X have been seeing each other for about a month now. That is a really long time for me. I’m not sure if I want to commit though. There are so many options, I don’t know if I’m ready to settle down with one person.”

April 7, 2000, age 16:

“Anyways, tonight I went to X’s house with Y and X. We had a big bottle of vodka and I had an empty stomach. Like, half a glass later– Lauren’s hammered. I couldn’t stand up straight, my eyes were fuzzy, I couldn’t see, I was dizzy, slurred words, trouble with co-ordination, etc… so it turns out I’m a destructive drunk.”

The TRUE Meaning of GoT “White Walkers”

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Here’s a fun ad-lib from the Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice” in which Jon Snow and Tyrion basically just discuss climate change.

CLIMATE CHANGE = White walkers
GLOBAL WARMING = The dead
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION = The Night King

JON SNOW: GLOBAL WARMING is coming for us all… It’s hard for me the fathom, it really is. If someone told me about CLIMATE CHANGE and OCEAN ACIDIFICATION… You probably don’t believe me. Grumpkins and Snarks, you called them, do you remember? It was all nonsense.

TYRION: It was all nonsense and everybody knew it. But then Mormont saw it, and you saw it and I trust the eyes of an honest man more than I trust what everybody knows.

JON SNOW: How do I convince people who don’t know me that an enemy they don’t believe in is coming to kill them all?

TYRION: People’s minds aren’t made for problems that large. CLIMATE CHANGE, OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, GLOBAL WARMING, it’s almost a relief to confront a familiar monster like my sister.

JON SNOW: I need to help prepare my people for what’s coming.

German Idioms Decoded (plus potatoes)

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When I was a little kid my grandmother (or as we called her “Oma”) taught me my first German word: Kartoffel, which means “potato”. At the time, I had no idea how extremely beloved these tubers were to Germans, so in hindsight it makes sense that would be the first word I learned.

After living in Germany for six and a half years as a grownup, I discovered that the only things Germans love more than potatoes are puzzling figures of speech. One such example goes: Die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln! which literally translates to: “The dumbest farmers have the fattest potatoes”.

Over the years, my love of strange German idioms also grew strong and deep like a potato. Here’s a list of some of my (non-potato themed) favourites along with some examples of how to properly use them in English.

  • Lass die Kirche im Dorf!
    Literally: Leave the church in the village!
    In other words: Don’t get carried away.
    Example: You don’t want to eat your weight in potatoes? Leave the church in the village!
  • Die Arschkarte ziehen
    Literally: Pulling the ass card
    In other words: Having bad luck
    Example: We’re out of potatoes?! We really pulled the ass card today!
  • Ich hau mich auf’s Ohr!
    Literally: I’m going to throw myself on my ear!
    In other words: I’m going to bed.
    Example: I’m exhausted from all the potato eating. I think I’ll throw myself on my ear!
  • Dumm wie Dosenbrot!
    Literally: Dumb as tinned bread!
    In other words: Really really dumb.
    Example: That guy hates potatoes? He’s dumb as canned bread!
  • Eier in der Hose haben
    Literally: Having eggs in the pants
    In other words: Being brave
    Example: Some people like a man with eggs in his pants. Personally, I love a man with potatoes in his pockets!
  • Das passt wie die Faust aufs Auge!
    Literally: It fits like a fist fits an eye!
    In other words: Perfect
    Example: A potato in the pot is like a fist fits an eye!
  • Pi mal Daumen
    Literally: Pi times thumb
    In other words: Approximately
    Example: Pi times thumb is how much I need potatoes in my life.
  • Da haben wir den Salat!
    Literally: There we have the salad!
    In other words: It’s all fucked up
    Example: No potato salad? Now we have the salad there!
  • Seinen Senf zu etwas abgeben 
    Literally: Give your mustard to something
    In other words: Give your (unsolicited) two cents
    Example: I’ll give my mustard to your potato salad recipe: It’s potatastic!
  • Im falschen Film sein
    Literally: Being in the wrong movie
    In other words: Finding yourself in a strange or confusing situation
    Example: Carrots for dinner? I feel like I’m in the wrong movie.
  • Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen
    Literally: Playing the offended liverwurst
    In other words: Being adorably offended
    Example: You act like an offended liverwurst when you go into potato withdrawal.
  • Den Löffel abgeben
    Literally: Giving up the spoon
    In other words: To die
    Example: He gave up the spoon! And the potato, too!