The most unsuccessful piece of pseudo-personal spam I received this week must surely be the falsely flattering invitation that began as follows:
Dear Professor [Name][Name1],
We would like to invite you as Invited Speaker on the area of Social Sciences, Law, Finances and Humanities in the Conferences
Vouliagmeni Beach, Athens, Greece, December 29-31, 2010
Organized by the European Society for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development / EUROPMENT, www.europment.org in collaboration with the WSEAS...
Dear Professor [Name][Name1]? Come on, spamsters! Can't you even do a standard mail merge? Isn't that the core of your goddamn lousy trade?
Would it be OK with you if I gave an invited talk entitled "[Title][Subtitle]"?
On second thoughts, thank you, but no; I think I can tell the difference between a conference and a spamference. I may have many things to say about social sciences, law, finances, humanities, and sustainable development, but I don't need to expand my carbon footprint by traveling to Vouliagmeni Beach to say them. I can say them right here on Language Log. And I don't need to send off a stiff conference fee to Europment.