Monday, March 26, 2007

Dear Guys at Google:

That web clips you added to Gmail, that pulls feeds off the web based on what folks have mailed me — I'm totally indifferent to it. I just leave it up because I figure, maybe once or twice in a lifetime, something worthwhile will appear, like a new Spam recipe, and I just wouldn't be able to resist. Hey, I'm only human. But can someone please explain to me why I keep getting some variation on this ad in my newsreader:

I know Google's got its spidery tendrils crawling all over the Internet, collecting all the information in the world, but what on earth in my e-mails ever suggested to it that I'd be a good candidate for employment at the CIA?! My e-mail is essentially all either stuff related to web design or quick letters to my friends like, "Wanna get lunch on Thursday?" Unless I just stumbled on some sort of codeword with that phrase, I think Google's got some re-parsing to do.

Speaking of which, I'd like to look at this ad from a national security standpoint, and I just don't know where to begin, aside from the fact that someone in the government thinks I would make a decent spy. (Then again, someone in the government also thought that Rumsfeld would make a decent Defense Secretary.) How about this? The content of the ad itself is twelve words, plus some initials, and somehow the most blatant possible typo managed to slip through? There's a 'c' in "linguistics." I don't know who would've picked up the mistake first: me or Microsoft Word, but it looks we both would've beat the people writing our National Intelligence Estimates. This lends credence to the theory that we were supposed to go to war with Iran — you know, the country that actually is trying to develop a nuclear arsenal — but someone's finger slipped while typing up a top secret intelligence analysis and now we're in the nuagmire that is Iraq.

And, periods, people! Good punctuation is important. Compare: "Let's eat, Dad" versus the commaless "Let's eat Dad." Totally changes the meaning. While I'm at it, every word doesn't need to start with a capital letter, only the first word in the sentences you've conveniently omitted and any proper nouns. I'm starting to wonder if this ad wasn't written by an eleven-year-old girl who just got done updating her MySpace page, which leads me to my final point...

"Apply Online Now" ...Online??!! This isn't a mystery shopper position that they're looking to fill here. Shouldn't there be a slightly more rigorous screening process, like maybe you have to show up in person if you want to handle our nation's most sensitive secrets? You know, just to prove that you don't have a comical Russian accent and a shifty black hat and moustache.