Spam scam: that’s the closest I’ve come to being duped…

I’ve never been duped by spam, and I aim to keep it that way.

But  Thursday was the closest I’ve come yet to being even remotely fooled by a digital fraudster. How? Here’s how.

I never, ever do the National Lottery. But on Wednesday I did – and I bought my ticket online. The jackpot was around the £3m mark.

So when I got this email in my inbox on Thursday, I was very excited:

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FacebookPub, Beirut

Facebook Pub, Beirut: ‘a great place to meet friends’

FacebookPub, BeirutOn a recent trip to Lebanon, I stumbled upon this bar in Beirut. My immediate thought was whether the bar-owners were considering legal action against Mark Zuckerberg’s social network of the same name.

My second thought was to pop my head through the door to see what a Facebook bar looks like inside.

I’m sorry to report it was just like any other bar, except it had Facebook colours and logos throughout. It was a very nice bar, as it happens.

I did a little digging and found this article in The Daily Star, Lebanon: Facebook Pub brings cyber-social net to real world.

The waitress is quoted as saying: “The whole idea is that people come here to meet one another and see their friends,” she said. “It is a great concept.”

A great concept indeed, and one that bars have been adhering to for hundreds of years.

And you’d never know the bar has absolutely no affiliation with the social network, given that it uses exactly the same logo, font ‘n all.

Some words just don’t translate into English

Some words just don't translate into English...The Web may have made the world a smaller place, but it hasn’t done all that much to bridge the linguistic divides that encumber businesses when doing business and travellers when, well, travelling.

That said, the internet has spawned the likes of Google Translate to help those seeking to converse with people of other linguistic persuasions. But let’s face it, online translation tools have very limited application, especially if you’re jetting off on a jungle-trekking excursion to Cambodia.

And this, of course, is where a little pocket phrase book or nifty iPhone app. may come in handy – so there are options for those wishing to venture into new territories without getting into translation tangles. But some words simply don’t translate all that well.

So I’ve done a little research. And the outcome is this compendium of phrases that apparently drive even the most tranquil of translators to despair.

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WTF? Social networking is good for language?

Text speakAnyone who’s ever run a digital advertising campaign will know all too well how tricky it is to keep texts trimmed.

With LinkedIn ads, users are restricted to 25 character headlines and 75 characters for the main body. Meanwhile, Google Ads give users a mere 70 characters to play within the text’s main body.

Reformulating an ad to fit within the pre-determined character limits can be frustrating at times, but it’s entirely necessary.

Keeping messages short, whilst still conveying the key information is an art in e-commerce. And the broader issue of how people shorten messages to friends by text, instant messaging, tweets and other social networking platforms raises the question: What impact does social media have on language?

And are textual truncations a manifestation of the net generation’s much-maligned attention span?

Read more on this in my feature piece over at The Next Web: WTF? Social Networking is good for Language?

Random Ramblings