“Gloriously expert position. I merely bumbled upon your fastidious post and desired to articulate that I have really relished understanding your blog articles.” Genuine spam comment.
Understanding? I wish I could say the same of the comment. The spam box is a constant source of delight as improper comprehension and lack of fluency is added to the obvious misuse of translation software to produce masterpieces such as this.
Of course, in spite of the gloriously ludicrous phraseology, the intent of the writer is clear in the statement. He or she is being very complimentary, even though it is designed simply to flatter the ego, thus gaining approved status and the ability to spam. Even that aspect is clear, opening yet another layer of understanding. We can deduce also that English is unlikely to be their first language… and that they are being paid for their efforts.
It must be a terribly boring job. I dread to think of the criteria for being paid per comment, or indeed the pittance they are probably being paid. Which leads me to infer that regardless of intellect and technical ability the spammer is probably living in relative poverty. However, while I might applaud their industry I would still consign those who pay deliberate spammers to perdition. Except they are providing work and income… it is always difficult to judge when you start looking.
However, I digress.
So, it is possible, as we see, to deduce and infer an awful lot from that single, almost meaningless statement. It is a bit like the classic examples such as estate agent-ese where the words we are given imply a whole other world of meaning… where ‘compact’ means the size of a rabbit hutch and ‘quaint’ implies that while it may have delightful beams and roses round the door, you need to look seriously at the plumbing. Words alone mean very little on their own, they need context and interpretation on far more levels than the surface alone.
Out of curiosity I ran a few things through a readability calculator… as recommended by one of those articles aimed at teaching writers their trade. These things use a number of tests and generally give an age range for which a piece of work is suitable as far as vocabulary and structure are concerned.
One of the pieces was my own and came back with an age range of 14. One was an article on the enneagram from the School website; this had an average age of 18. All well and good. Where it all fell down was Stuart’s Perspectives on Perception, which came back as suitable for 8-9 year olds… and while the language is crystal clear, the concepts behind the words are deep enough to repay profound study. A child could indeed read it, but would youth have the knowledge, experience and understanding to fully grasp the meaning behind the words?
We all bring our own perspectives to the perception of the words we encounter, reading invisible backstories into a tone of voice or a choice or phrase. Words are emotive things… magical creations that can convey exactitude or leave an entire universe of imagination a place in which to play and explore. We colour words with our own emotions, often reading into them what was not there, through desire, fear or inattention.
They are powerful things words and emotions. Like the roast chicken, for example. I, quite accurately said, “We have chicken for dinner.” The dog hears only through her desire “… chicken for dinner…” and my inattention leaves me picking up the decimated carcass when she’s finished…