Monday, May 19, 2008

You've Got Mail

Over the years I, like many of us, have sent out beaucoup emails on any number of subjects. However, my email style tends to be a lot more reserved and succinct than my regular writing style. If I'm writing something for Bonez or just something for my own entertainment, I tend to luxure in utilizing over-expressive language laden with adjectives and descriptives.

Email, though, tends to be a pretty formal affair. If you get a message from me, it's usually no more than one or two sentences, very direct and to the point. I guess it stems from my complete lack of social graces and my overall ineptitude when it comes to interpersonal relations.

Every once in awhile, though, I do manage to spit out messages of a tad more substance, almost always written in a humorous vein. I got to thinking about these the other day and decided that Bonez might get a kick out of a couple of my favorite bits from the past.

What follows are two emails that I sent several years ago. These are both 6-7 years old, but have long been kept in my secret stash of writings that I horde for my own entertainment.

This first message was sent to my boss regarding a situation with one of my co-workers. I had written up the person in question (Bill) for giving out inaccurate information to one of customers regarding one of our program's features. However, his immediate supervisor (Ted) had come back to me to point out that Bill was actually correct and that it was our manual that was wrong. I had originally written a letter to my boss explaining that I was incorrect in chastising Bill. However, it turned out that I had good reason for my actions, even if wrong. I decided to clear matters up. This was the mail that resulted:

Boss,

Per the message regarding my retraction of my chiding of the (in)accurate information parlayed by Bill regarding E2K......

While not incorrect to say that the information, while incorrect, was correct from that time period's mindset, I would like to qualify that my assesment was actually accurate and correct, not incorrect as was incorrectly parlayed to me by Ted. I just want to make sure that any confusion infused by that letter was cleared up.

So:

The orginal information, though inaccurate, was accurate according to our knowledge at the time, so my calling it inaccurate was actually inaccurate, as was so accurately parlayed to me by Ted. However, I was not off base or inaccurate by any means for calling that accurate inaccuracy inaccurate.

Also:

The other section regarding PF logging, as it turns out, was inaccurate also. I inaccurately berated Bill for stating that PF logging is available in the Standard edition, when in fact, our documentation regarding this characteristic is in fact, inaccurate. Our training materials most clearly state that this is not possible. However, upon personal investigation by Ted and myself, it became apparent that our own documentation is inaccurate regarding this matter.

So, in summary.....

I was inaccurate in referring to Bill's inaccuracy as inaccurate, as it was merely an accurate inaccuracy.

However, I was most inaccurate in calling the PF issue an inaccurate statement, as my source, which I assumed was accurate, turned out to be most inaccurate.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, I will be at home getting shitty drunk trying to figure this whole damn thing out myself.....

This second email was sent to the staff at Fox News back in 2002. I had just read an article on the forthcoming Star Wars: Attack of the Clones movie, and all of the fans awaiting that movie were placed in a negative light. It had annoyed me that on the same day they had run a piece about "fans" camping out overnight for NASCAR tickets, but they were just painted as "enthusiastic" and "excited". This was my suggestion for their site:


Dear Fox News staff:

I've been a daily visitor to foxnews.com for quite some time now, and have been consistently irked by a trend that I see on your site, one which has been repeated today. Why is it that whenever Foxnews refers to fans of any form of sci-fi/fantasy genre they are labeled as geeks and nerds, while sports enthusiasts are simply referred to as fans? I would say that perhaps it's because fans of a genre fall out of the mainstream and therefore are subject to ire, but I would say that box office returns on such "nerd fests" as the Star Wars quadrology and "The Fellowship of the Ring" would dictate that these are, in fact, mainstream interests. People have a wide and varied range of interests. Some enjoy a good yarn, some enjoy a good book, and some like to watch cars drive around in circles. Does an interest in one of these areas automatically justify using slanderous terms to describe those who partake in and enjoy whatever activity it may be that interests them? Since that seems to be Fox's policy in regards to people with interests, I profer to you some suggestions for other headlines, using the same stereotypes that you seem to enjoy employing against a specific group of people.

How about:

"Redneck Inbreds" instead of "Nascar Fans" ("Wife-Beating Drunkards" is also acceptable.)
"Mentally Challenged Trogladytes" as opposed to "Football Fan"
"Mindless Wastes of Oxygen" instead of "Baseball Fans"

While we're at it, let's generalize some more:

"Sheep" instead of "People"
"Pedophile" instead of "Priest"

or even

"Bullshit" instead of "News"

See, it's easy (and fun!) to pigeonhole people unfairly in order to elicit a chuckle from a certain percentage of your readership. However, if I were running a news website that is supposed to be unbiased and informative, I would probably avoid broad generalizations of people, and instead stick to presenting the facts as they are, not how I interpret them. But what do I know? I'm just a geek.


These letters were quite fun to write at the time and have been forwarded around my inner circle over the years. I hope you enjoy them.

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