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SOTD [Spam of the Day] - Life is strange...

Feb. 20th, 2004

10:47 am - SOTD [Spam of the Day]

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Hi!

Today I got an amusing spam. The content wasn't so amusing, but the title was, in a picky grammar_mavens sort of way. The title was: "Do you want for a prosperous future?" Surely the author meant to write: "Do you want a prosperous future?", but the line works either way, due to interesting and seldom-used properties of the word 'want'. First, current accepted definitions of the verb 'want', from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary:

When we say "I want my toy!", we usually mean definition 2a from the entry above. When the spam writer added the word "for" to his email's title, he shifted the meaning from definition 2a to definition 2. This was almost certainly a mistake—the thing I like about it, and about English in general, is that so many things can make logical and grammatical sense, even if they don't quite mean the same sense as the author intended.


The content of the message was less interesting, and can speak for itself. Pick it apart at your leisure; you don't want for my help (emphasis mine):

-(Cheers) generalist

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Bow Wow Wow / I Want Candy

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:gratteciella
Date:February 20th, 2004 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Dude, your tags are all messed up. This post is confusing the heck out of my friends page.

But in a good way :)
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[User Picture]
From:generalist
Date:February 20th, 2004 09:46 pm (UTC)

Re: html tags

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Hi!

You are so right. I wasn't careful enough when I took m-w's dictionary entry. I ended up with a spare /table and a spare /tr tag. Oops! I think it's fixed now, is it better for you?

-(Thanks) generalist

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[User Picture]
From:gratteciella
Date:February 20th, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC)

Re: html tags

(Link)
Yup, all better.

Thanks!
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[User Picture]
From:selkiediver
Date:February 20th, 2004 09:53 pm (UTC)
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My Friends page is all messed up now, too. Please to fix your tags! Like Yoda I shall speak. Offend your grammar maven senses I will. (:

I didn't realize that want for was an obscure usage of the verb want. I feel like I see it quite often and even use it from time to time. Is my perception of this skewed?
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[User Picture]
From:xeger
Date:February 21st, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)

Re:

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I don't think of it as an obscure usage either - but I certainly shouldn't be taken as an example of "average" in this instance.
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[User Picture]
From:generalist
Date:February 21st, 2004 02:16 am (UTC)

Re:

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I agree, it's not obscure. It is seldom-used, in comparison to the typical 'I want candy' usage. Obscurity is different realm for word usage than seldomness is.


-(Cheers) generalist

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