Not the best way to start out a form letter


Special Welcome Back Offer From the President of The Wall Street Journal Online

Dear Do Not Edit These Fields,

My name is Todd Larsen and I'm the president of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE...

Pre-emptive snarky comment: I got a lame form letter from Microsoft once.

Comments (17)
  1. Do Not Edit These Fields says:

    I don’t get it…

  2. asdf says:

    My name is Todd Larsen and I used to be the president of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE…

  3. dbt says:

    Actually, I recall how entertained I was by the "This Dave can bench press a car" ad campaign for VB4.  I remember getting a brochure in the mail and thinking: "either a coincidence or the greatest targetted ad campaign ever!"

    Sadly, just a coincidence.

  4. N. Velope says:

      There’s another classic one (don’t remember the exact name)

    To: Raymond Chen III

    Dear Mr. Iii,

      We would like to offer you and the entire Iii family a chance to visit Disneyland for the low price of …

  5. James says:

    A few months back, I canceled my cellphone data plan. After the usual ‘customer retention’ phone calls (would you stay with us if we knock a little bit off the price, in exchange for staying for another 18 months?) I got a letter, confirming that they’d be ending the plan on <<INSERT DATE HERE>>.

    A lot of my spam arrives addressing ‘Dear FIRSTNAME LASTNAME’ or similar, but seeing that kind of botched mailmerge coming from what is essentially my ISP really takes the biscuit.

  6. TraumaPony says:

    I’ve never had a retention call… People here have more class :D

  7. JenK says:

    A friend of mine changed his name (legally) to Aahz.  Since many forms refuse to work without a first name, he often suggests "Mr" for the first name.  

    So lots of "Dear Mr Mr Aahz,"

    (He was pleased to find that American Express does single names quite well.)

  8. Makes me think of the recent XKCD cartoon: http://xkcd.com/327/

    And I thought naming a kid 2.0 instead of junior was pretty geeky.

  9. Alex Feinman says:

    This cannot be real. The single line (and an incomplete one at that) you quote commits at least four fouls:

    • missed comma
    • contraction ("I’m") in a formal letter

    • unnecessary capitalization

    • style (" My name is such and such and I’m such and such" ) – works for an AA meeting, but not in formal writing.

    I can only assume this is an example of poorly generated spam, such as menitoned by one of the commenters earlier

  10. Jivlain says:

    Alex, I don’t think that an plea for subscriptions counts as "formal writing".

    Love the pre-emptive snarky comment, though. A classic!

  11. Stephen Jones says:

    —-"Pre-emptive snarky comment: I got a lame form letter from Microsoft once."—–

    So that’s how you got the job!

  12. Ross Bemrose says:

    JenK:

    Did another friend name themselves Skeeve?

  13. Cheong says:

    Patrick: At least the child’s mom did not name the word after TABLE to be Users… Things would be better after the child grown up… :P

  14. Toukarin says:

    Stephen managed to make a snarky comment from a pre-emptive snarky comment:

    —-"Pre-emptive snarky comment: I got a lame form letter from Microsoft once."—–

    So that’s how you got the job!

    That aside, it reminds me of:

    http://worsethanfailure.com/Articles/My-Friends-Just-Call-Me-Error.aspx

  15. Threetwosevensixseven says:

    One of my relatives uses a name and address rubber stamp on most of her mail order forms and suchlike. The name line includes her qualification like so: "Mrs Xxxx Yyyyy LTCL (Mus.Ed.)" Amusingly, she gets quite a lot of random junk mail addressed to "Mrs Lmused".

  16. AJ says:

    Lame.  Not the post, the fact that WSJ is still trying to charge for online subscriptions.  Even the NY Times has figured that one out already.

  17. Aliaksei says:

    I’m subscribed to Daily Dilbert, and in each letter it says: Hi null null!

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