Tag Archives: Language

¿Habla Spamglish? Speaking the language of spambots

It’s the bane of every blogger. Comment spam, blog spam…whatever you want to call it, has reached epidemic proportions. Bloggers from all backgrounds set aside time to sift through the steady stream of pseudo-comments that sit waiting for ‘approval’.

Most experienced bloggers can spot a counterfeit comment from a hundred yards. The grammar is normally passable, and it often adopts a rather complimentary approach, but it just never seems quite right.

A quick perusal of the thousand-odd comments awaiting approval on my own blog (most of the comments will never see the light of day, I must add…), reveals where the spammers are going wrong.

To read more on this, check out my piece over at The Next Web: ¿Habla Spamglish? Speaking the language of spambots.

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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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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Headlines that don’t deliver are really annoying

I recently wrote about the importance of effective headlines when writing a story. Well, another one at the BBC caught my attention yesterday: “Has Belfast film-maker found time travel evidence?” Evidence of time travel?

Who could possibly resist clicking on a headline like that? Of course, the only problem with a headline like that is that the story contained within really has to deliver in a big way.

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