There’s a full moon tonight. If recent circumstances hadn’t made this fact painfully obvious to me already, I’d have realised as soon as I received this email, earlier today:

—–Original Message—–
From: An Idiot
Sent: 11 March 2009 14:01
To: Amber, Verbal Punching Bag of the Internet
Subject: helpppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp.

dear amber:

i’ve reviewed books for the new york times, discussed the art of writing on npr’s fresh air with terry gross, and many other high points in my career as a freelance writer, and so i came to your site seeking enlightenment if not some freelance gigs, and what did i see, first thing?

         do you have an interesting object?

         tell us it’s story


you need me. you need an editor. you really do.

I’ve removed two words which may or may not have been the author’s name from this literary feast (it was hard to tell due to the basic lack of writing skills) to protect the guilty but the rest is exactly as I received it, including font and funky yellow highlighter.

I think it becomes even more amusing when you realise it was written in response to this post at WritingWorld. Just in case you can’t be bothered reading it, it’s a post about its/it’s confusion, and I used an advert by a major publishing house as an example of how even the biggest companies sometimes get it wrong.  It was the advert text that my correspondent is quoting here, and obviously, I’m not the best person to judge my own writing, but I thought it was pretty obvious that the incorrect “it’s” was an example, and wasn’t written by me (although I’m happy to admit that I get it wrong too, sometimes, even although I’m perfectly well aware of the correct use of the apostrophe). Apparently not, though.

That aside, I find it both shocking and amusing in equal measures that someone would send an email like THIS to ask me to employ them. Because, oh yeah, I’m going to totally want to take on a member of staff who wrote to me to slag off my website and try to make out that I’m an idiot who can’t spell! Doesn’t everyone want employees like that?

More importantly, though, if I WAS looking for a freelance editor (which I’m not, by the way), I’m thinking I’d probably go for one who wasn’t such a stranger to capital letters and punctuation, you know? One who, perhaps, knew that “ayieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” is not a word, and that “help” only has the one “p”.

Sadly, these kind of emails have become the norm for me recently, and to be totally honest, it’s kinda killing the Internet for me. If it’s not people writing to hurl abuse at me, or treat me as their own personal Google, it’s people commenting here to tell me they don’t like my face and that I should change it, or leaving nasty comments at The Fashion Police because a post from two years ago is now – surprise,surprise! – out of date, and the dress in question is no longer available. (Quite how this is my fault is beyond me, but apparently it is. I’m slowly starting to realise that almost EVERYTHING is my fault. Everything.) And if THAT isn’t enough, people are still confusing me with Rihanna, and writing to me  AS IF I AM HER.

(Note: I am not Rihanna. NOT. RIHANNA.)

  1. Aw – you should have named and shamed! But you're so talented and many more of us admire you than wish you harm (or want to buy things from you) -please try to remember that! 🙂

    And the full moon can't last forever, right??

    1. I always hope that's the case, and that the harm-wishers are just much more vocal than the rest, but sometimes it all gets a bit much! I think I'm going to start a campaign to make full moons national holidays, and to have a minimum age/intelligence level for the internet. It would make my life so much easier! (And, you know, it's all about ME 🙂 )

      1. Not only are the harm-wishers more vocal (and, y'know, deranged), we writers always remember what they say for far longer than we can recall any nice comments! Maybe you need a punchbag next to your PC or something? x

        <abbr>Diane´s last blog post..big-birthday girl</abbr>

        1. Oh, totally – why is it that the nastiness always sticks in your (well, my…) head for longer? No punchbag, but I am finding my Body Combat class a lot more fun these days 🙂

  2. What, your NOT Rihanna?? How did I get that wrong?

    But where did you get those Topshop shoes you wore at that stage thing……. Nope, sorry, I can't even muster up enough crap to write it! The internet is full of dumb-asses. Its just a pity that you have to deal with them. But that is the price of fame!

    Chin up! Its nearly Friday! x

    1. To be fair, the Rihanna thing is an easy mistake to make, what with me being a beautiful black girl with a great voice and all 🙂 I can see how people would confuse the two of us. Hey, I wonder if Rihanna is getting MY messages?

      And yes, roll on Friday!

    1. I felt a bit mean for posting it but then I thought that hey, if people think it's OK to send stuff like this, they surely won't be embarrassed to have it made public!

  3. I'm not sure which is more scary: the thought of some idiot writing the email as a serious piece of correspondence, or the fact that they thought it would be a "humorous" way of getting your attention…

  4. People can be so nasty (and stupid). I never understand it. Take absolutely no notice – I (and I know I'm not alone) love your blog. I read a lot of blogs but yours is one of my favorites.

    1. Thanks, Jenny 🙂 I actually find it quite fascinating in a way: I don't think I'll ever understand what people get out of being so nasty, though!

    1. Haha, I know it's amazing I even dare to show my face at all!

      Thanks for the comment – glad there are still people out there who are normal!

  5. Hey, aren't editors supposed to be more professional?

    Oh my… If you ever leave the Internet, what will these "poor" idiots do?

    Someone needs to be here to shed some light upon their deranged little heads… Who knows, you might even be saving a few of them!

    And, of course, there are people that need their amber fix once in a while 😀

    I'm starting to become one of them, this blog is just too entertaining…

  6. I think the marvellous thing about the Internet is that there's virtually no barrier to entry. Of course, the worst thing about the Internet is that there's virtually no barrier to entry. I get this sort of mail, too; witty, incisive remarks like: "Hey idiot, obviously you're a rubbish journalist if you have time to write blog posts".

    My view is that there are lot of crazy people out there. Before the Internet, I bet it was tough for them to get people in the real world to actually stand still long enough to listen to their witterings. That's why they can be bothered to spend time emailing the likes of you – nobody else talks to them because, guess what, they're crazy. And probably have poor personal hygiene, although that's just speculation.

    <abbr>Sally´s last blog post..Oh, so *that's* where my sparky edge got to.</abbr>

    1. I think you're totally right, Sally: I also think a lot of these people would turn out to be fourteen years old, too, which is always a comfort! And, of course, it's hard to take criticism personally when it comes from anonymous people who clearly take pleasure in leaving nasty comments etc on the internet. Well, most of the time, anyway…

  7. There are bound to be really stupid people on the internet – but not stupid enough to realise it. I agree with your sentiments re the apostrophe – just why is it so difficult to understand really simple rules. I used to set homework for my pupils to find apostrophe mistakes in shops etc all round town, eg Coach Party's Welcome in huge letters on the wall of a chip shop and Communion Dress's in the window of the RC Church shop. But my current pet hate which is everywhere is the use of "impact" where it takes the function of a verb. Don't they get the affect/effect rule? is that why they say "impact" now. It seems to be fairly intelligent speakers who are using this word in this context. Another pet hate is the pronunciation of "nuclear" – can't English speakers pronounce dipthongs any more – they say "nucular"? Rant over.

  8. Just saw this, Amber, and had to commiserate about people leaving comments on celebrity stories as if the celebrity wrote them. Like, yes, I'm Jennifer Anniston, and I wrote a third person story about myself, and published it on a dinky little Web site and I will SURELY write you back and ask for your phone number so we can be BFF and you can move in with me and my hairstylist. GRRRR!!

    You do get the weirdest mail.

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