In light of some recent emails, Facebook and Twitter updates, and panicked calls from the user community at large, I thought it was about time to resurrect this time-worn–and somewhat hackneyed–screed on email. I didn’t write this (if I had, it would have been more acerbic) but it is nevertheless true, and bears repeating often. Many of you may not remember all of these references, but to me the parallels to today are prescient and startlingly unwavering. Please pay heed, feel free to forward, and above all else enjoy.
Email Facts Of Life
1. Big companies don’t do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not
giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. There
is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. You can relax;
there is no need to pass it on “just in case it’s true”. Furthermore,
just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that
“we checked it out and it’s legit”, does not actually make it true.
2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in
a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened
to their cousin. If you are hellbent on believing the kidney-theft ring
stories, please see:
http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm And I quote:
“The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for
actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories.
None have.” That’s “none” as in “zero”. Not even your friend’s cousin.
3. Neiman Marcus doesn’t really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if
they do, we all have it. And even if you don’t, you can get a copy at:
http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html> Then, if you make the recipe,
decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
4. We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate
co-workers gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on
an elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students,
Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes
to change a lightbulb
5. Even if the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium
that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think
this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?
6. There is no “Good Times” virus. In fact, you should never, ever,
ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first
confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals
with virii. Try: http://www.norton.com http://www.norton.com/. And
even then, don’t forward it. We don’t care.
7. If your CC: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your
message, you’re probably going to Hell.
8. If you’re using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off
the “HTML encoding.” Those of us on Unix shells can’t read it, and
don’t care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web
browser, since you’re probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman
Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
9. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message
from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of
headers showing everyone else who’s received it over the last 6 months.
It sure wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all the “>” that begin each line.
Besides, if it has gone around that many times — we’ve probably already
10.Craig Shergold in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at
this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business
cards. He apparently is also no longer a “little boy” either.