Thursday, May 18, 2006

A new author you should know about

Not that I want to be alarmist,* but I think someone has written a random spam generator that in a sudden flash of sentience is poised to take over the world.

When it has finished working on its career as an aspiring novelist, that is.

Not that it's especially difficult to create random text generators that produce coherent text. I've written some myself. And take a look here for a much better example than anything I've ever put together. But spammers don't usually bother. Why should they, when randomly strung together words are enough to get past our filters?

Nevertheless, I got another piece of most excellent random text spam today that looked anything but random. I reproduce it below, under the name of the "original author" (according to the "from" information in the email).

Lesion E. Thresholds

"That was useful", Angelina said. "Walking to the War is a violation of any code of ethics". Where to? The roots buried against the wall. Fine, come, come, pass it over, the aging hatchet needs special attention. But first we have to grab it holding a heavy pot projected in from the rear. They had been running through my cerebral cortex in sight when I slipped through the door and love said, frowning. "You will take care of cold doesn’t stop". You have to like cold and I died: I ripped the entire instrument out by glaring at him. Your cortex! Butchers, those people. Simply the original owner. Angelina was right behind me, useless. Hypnosis perhaps, it didn’t really matter.

What do you say? Should we give little Lesion a pass in Creative Writing 101?

* Alarmist? Me? Never.

** The only changes I made to this were (1) capitalising after existing punctuation, (2) adding some punctuation of my own in five places, and (3) deleting six words. This is fewer "corrections" than I make to most of my students' essays, so gives you an idea of what a fantastic text it was in the first place.


Lucy said...

After having read the posts about Dan Brown on Language Log again today, that looks like it could almost be a bestseller!

turtlebella said...

That's fantastic. I always delete those spam messages; I had no idea there could be text like that in them. Actually I didn't know there was non-selling-something text at all. But the from: names always amuse me, especially when a "name" is composed of a word that I use professionally. Like once I got one from "Transpiration E. Eason" - transpiration being a physiological mechanism that plants do. For awhile I was keeping track of the subjects and putting them together in poem format. The endless time one can waste, just with spam email!

StyleyGeek said...

I would love to see that poem, Turtlebella. Did you ever post it on your blog?

There usually is random non-selling text in the spam with the cool random names. But usually it is very random and not as funny as this.

Lucy -- If it was going to out-sell Dan Brown, wouldn't it have to begin with "Renowned Cerebral Cortex Runner, Angelina..."