The response to our appeal in Wanted: three hundred good people to help with meeting our server costs was humbling to say the least, and because of your support The AIMN lives on. Your donations have gone a long way in covering those costs for the next twelve months and for this Carol and I say “thank you.” Let’s make that a big “THANK YOU.”
We were actually able to upgrade to an even bigger server than we had twelve months ago, and with this being an election year … we’re going to need it!
The quote from the movie of John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath (that we’ve used in our featured image; “A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody” could easily have applied to all of us here. Among the comments over the years it has often been said that The AIMN is like a family. No greater compliment could ever be said of us. We are all but pieces in a very large family. All just little pieces of a big soul: the writers, the people who comment, the readers, the moderators and the admin.
One piece of the soul that gets no recognition are the poor sods who day-in day-out scroll through the spam comments that flood our site. In just over five years we have attracted 735,000 spam comments (sometimes as many as 1,500 a day), and they must all be read because as systems aren’t perfect, the occasional genuine comment gets caught up. It’s a tedious job. But it does have its up-side …
The Angry Grapes
Sometime in the mid 60s one of my teachers told his amused young class of a famous example of when words get lost in the translation: When The Grapes of Wrath was first published in Japan it was published not as the title Steinbeck gave it, but as The Angry Grapes. Oh how we laughed.
Of the 99.9 per cent of spam comments that are genuine spam, we too get a laugh. Some poor under-paid soul somewhere tries their best to sound English when they throw us a comment filled with praise in the hope that we’d click on a provided link and buy something uninteresting like clock parts. (Clock parts are the flavour of the month with spammers. The month prior it was school-bell systems. We all own a school, don’t we?)
I am aware that many people who comment on The AIMN have English as their second language, and I hope that these valued contributors take no offence at my mocking of the non-English speaking spammers, but there are some wonderful ‘Angry Grapes’ moments that you will enjoy. Here are some recent examples of spammers and their ‘Angry Grapes’ comments:
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(There’s that word “delicious” again. Last month their favourite word was “fastidious”).
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Damn … now we’ve got to put up with this stuff for another year! 😀