Word dissociation

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I have one very spam-ridden e-mail account. I've had the address for over a decade, and it must be in every spam database in the world. About a year ago, I started getting spam that matched a certain pattern.

  • The name in the from line always had a first name, middle initial, and last name.
  • The first and last names appeared to be random words out of the dictionary.
  • The body of the message was usually in Russian, but sometimes in English.
  • The message always seemed to originate from a PC connected to broadband Internet service, no doubt infected with a trojan horse mail relay program.

As evil as it is to write and disseminate a trojan horse, I give these crooks credit for an algorithm that combines random words to generate names that more often than not bring a chuckle.

I wrote about this phenomenon a while back:

The names in the From line are wonderful -- Stying K. Purgative, Mustered O. Behemoths, Headwaters I. Evidence, Circularizing T. Integers, Disassemble H. Imps, Rallies Q. Stratification, Accretions G. Recital -- they are obviously not names, but they have the rhythm of names, reminiscent of the sort that Barry Took and Marty Feldman cooked up for sketches on "Round the Horne", like Isambard Mousehabit and J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock. (Or the Li'l' Abner character, Jubilation T. Cornpone.) So we know the spambot writer is evil, but has a sense of humor.

Below are some genuine examples of these spam names, followed by whatever popped into my head when I read each. Feel free to play along in the comments.

Pauperized A. Classicists

Why I double-majored in computer science.

Vivified E. Washtub

What happened the next time the Sorcerer's Apprentice put on the hat.

Antislavery H. Sarsaparillas

The "Ben and Jerry's Rainforest Crunch" of the 1850s.

Yosemite F. Faun

From the Looney Tunes production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Horseman H. Screaming

"Saddlehorn!! Saddlehorn!!"

Lynching A. Ogles

"What do you mean, 'It is too a crime to look?'"

Gaping K. Rudyard

Slated to replace "Great Caesar's Ghost!" as Perry White's preferred oath.

Countertenors B. Drawling

"Boys, please enunciate! This is Bach, not Bob Dylan!"

Collars H. Tyrannosaurus

"What's tricky is getting the thing fastened."

Comedienne B. Deterministic

Her material is so-so, but her timing is exquisite.

Unbend H. Tigris

One of Saddam's more expensive public works projects.

Finger B. Unasked

Get slapped by B.

Europe H. Maharishi

In 1968, maybe. Nowadays it's Europe H. Imam.

Puckered F. Orinoco

Something that could pucker your Orinoco doesn't bear thinking about.

Piggies U. Traumatizing

That's why they went wee-wee-wee all the way home. U meanie.

Syllogisms B. Dogfighting

"All men are mortal! The Red Baron is a man! Therefore...Aaaaaaauuughh!"

And a few more for you to play with:

Temporarily D. Collapsing
Plato M. Hitler
Morale T. Diagnostics
Gonorrhoea M. Scornfully
Sweetener H. Silages
Rug I. Sunbathes
Creativeness G. Fisk
Seediness I. Rustproofed
Confessions A. Pentathlon
Graffito A. Servicing
Popping U. Clustered
Removables L. Giggling
Silken K. Incumbency
Fixity C. Matrimony
Materialism H. Anorak


Jack Lewis said:

Simple solution.

Get a domain name (which you obviously have done)

Maintain a few private email addresses you give only to trusted individuals.

Give everyone else their own email address to respond to you. (i.e. if ordering from amazon.com, give them amazon@batesline.com or amazondotcom@batesline.com. You get the idea.)

Block any email address that spam is sent through.

I do this and get very little spam.

If you have a public email address, such as for this blog or on your domain registry, simply change it periodically, and block the old one.

Jeff Shaw said:

Fleetest O. Cerise

"Oh! My aching feet"

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 3, 2005 11:39 PM.

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