Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Forwards or Backwards 

My gripe is about “forwards”. Specifically about urban legends that have been forwarded to me. Urban legends started in industrialized society and don’t come from our roots, as folklore does. Folklore we understand to be just lore, maybe having a seed of truth, exaggerating a truth to bring out a moral. Culture might be cloaked in folklore and a lot of nice songs have come out of folklore. But, urban legends? What is the value in them? With the proliferation of email for legitimate uses, and enough already of spam, why pass on an unverified story with a request to send it to ten more friends and attach a threat if I don’t comply? How friendly. I know, most people think their forwards are true stories. Note: I said think not know. In order to know some research is required, an expenditure of time, an investment in caring—about my already full email box. Urban legends can be checked—just throw some key words into Google. Please just do this, at least:

• Check out the story first. Get the facts.
• Don’t forward my email address to people I don’t know. Use the BCC (blind copy).
• Don’t include a personal note because I might delete thinking its a Forward.
• Please clean it up, don’t send me three pages of >>>>> before the story
• While there, strip the footers, too. Or, just copy/paste the original story.
• Just send me the joke or story without all the extra stuff--sure it's good?

Most of all, take heart, dump it in the trash. BREAK the CHAIN! You’ll live, I promise. Take my advice and THINK, THINK, THINK before you Forward. Stand on one foot, if it helps. Let’s get out of this email jungle together.

Remember, some one could use your email address list, someone you don’t know, to send spam to everyone who has received your forward, including you. Don’t worry; Bill Gates is not giving away $1000 bills, no matter how many times you forward the email. You have to stay up all night writing a grant proposal for that! Chain letters are also illegal. They have been called spam.

Chain letters are annoying. In the time it takes to read and forward a chain letter you could send me a short email saying “I love you” or “Joy, you are special”—that’s all (as the Devil would say, wearing Prada) and you would make me feel great! Forward an email from a mutual friend or family with a note, something personal. Email is practically free so the choice is yours—fill up my box with unverified, unsolicited and extraneous junk OR make my day!

Q: What’s a chain letter? A: See About Urban Legends.
Q: Where can I check out my story? A: Try Hoax du Jour or Rumor Has It
Q: How can I break the chain mail habit? A: See Break the Chain
Q: What about sending petitions? A: Don’t!

Now why don't we just sit down to a nice cup of tea and practice some old-fashioned gossip?

VOCAB: Palindrome--A sequence that reads the same in either direction; forwards or backwards e.g. "Madam, I'm Adam".

Natala distracted by her new Morkie, Cuba to Las Vegas with Sheila for their cousin, Justin’s wedding. Sheila turning 30, Happy Birthday, Shebop! Jasmine: from Melbourne to Cape Town via Kuala Lumpur after a fly/drive across Australia with her mom, Jen. Now in Johanesburg on her way to the 420ft high Victoria Falls aka Mosi-oa-Tunya. Jenny now in Brisbane and Melbourne. Cousin Rachel (Greg and Ann's daughter from Tring near London now from Cheltenham), on her way with TrekAmerica’s Northern Route from Los Angeles to New York City in 21 days. Bill is back, exhausted, from 3 days with 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren and assorted spouses, in-laws, ex-laws and friends sleeping in a pup tent in a field, spraining his finger in a dunking machine, dressing up as a clown in a maze game and generally having lots of fun! Dan and Amy put a lot of thought and planning into the weekend at their home in Waitsburg, WA. The celebration was a Bismilla and Imana AKA Missey Moe , in her seventh year, recited some verses in Arabic from the Qu'ran.Other grandchildren present, in order of age (and photo), are Caleb, Nuri, Taylor, Hannah, Anna,Raika and Ryan--all growing so big, so fast and so beautifully! (Lauren, Alexi and Evan could not attend but will be here in September.) Jessica in London/Portland/Sunriver,Oregon.
Until the next full moon--au revoir.

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