Monday, April 30, 2012

The Secret life of Pronouns

Ever noticed how you try to mimic the person you are interested in?
I know I do it, but I didn't know that it's true for everybody.

Pennebaker and his team did a study on speed dating conversation and found that our language changes when we are around people we like; in the speed dating case, "when the language style of two people matched, when they used pronouns, prepositions, articles and so forth in similar ways at similar rates, they were much more likely to end up on a date."

 Full story

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to fool the ETS essay rater?

Construct your prose with superfluous dunandunate words or phrases, although incoherent and ambiguous, which might cause xenolexica in human grader but impress the e-rater nonetheless. This is how Les Perelman fooled the e-rater.

Friday, April 06, 2012

My "cool" craigslist scammer

Sarah Lawrence ( wrote:

Thank you very much for the response but before we move forward,i will like you to know the full information about me. I was born and raised in Wyoming,i am quiet and easy going person to live with. I'm 26 years of age... I am extremely clean,quiet and respectful, I am sensitive, intelligent and am easy to get on with. ..I am a faithful and committed person, who is very considerate of other people's feelings. I don't drug and i dont smoke or drink.. I enjoy going out with my friends to movies, plays, parks, hikes, anything to do with the ocean and horses but i'm cool living with people.

Right now, am working for a Non Government Organization on a program on children with orphans and heart related probs.My next program/seminars will be in your town and I will need a room to stay for these seminars, so I want to secure a room before my arrival.

I must confess that i'm comfortable with the area of the house/apt and i am ready to pay for the room. I will like to make the payment for the first month ahead of my arrival, and then i will make subsequent payment thereafter as i plan to stay for 6-12months.I have told my boss about this and he promised to make sure that he will meet up with the payment so that I can depart from here as scheduled.He also said I will have the advantage to make payment for deposit .I should arrive to your place on or before the 24th of April(Willing to pay for the whole month of April),so pls keep the room for me till my arrival.He also said my mode of payment will be the Most acceptable,safer and reliable means of payment which is United state certified money order/Cashier Check so get back to me with your name and address so that i can send you the payment as early as possible.

Kindest Regards,
Sarah Lawrence.
I wrote:
Hi Sarah,
Sorry I cannot rent apartment from April. The earliest you can move in is --.

Sarah Lawrence ( wrote:

Thanks for the response...I am cool with everything and i will like to pay you the first month rent before my arrival...You can therefore get back to me with your name and address so that my Boss can send you the payment as soon as possible Ok..

Thanks again
Sarah Lawrence.


So cool!
So I wrote:
You know, scamming (or whatever you are trying to do here) needs some more intelligence than this.

Or may be not!
I wonder how many people fall for this and what exactly do they do after they get the address.
I guess, they were going to ask for my account number for direct deposit :P.
I should have gone few more steps to see what happens!
May be next time :D.

Other incidents of the same scam are here and here.