What mind conceived this e-mail?

Below is an e-mail that was sent to the college newspaper I work at. It defies all description. My theory is that it was written by a German man translating to English word-for-word, which obviously doesn’t work. Anyone know how someone’s English could be THIS fractured?

Dear Sir!
You will see this mail on your screen, because, I NEED help!
First of all:Sorry, that I molest you with my problem!
I am a collector of Zippolighters! Since 2 years, I am on the way, to grow up a collection of Zippo’s from each state of the US!That means, in alphabetical order!Best, with the State logo on or any other sign or engraving, which shows, that this Zippo is from the State! I got them all-except Lansing!In November, '99, I send a letter with 30 US to the Office of the Mayor of Lansing!-'Till this day, there was not a Zippo, to add to my collection! I am complete helpless!-And, all the other Offices of Mayor's and Governors;- they all! gave me a fast assistance! In my opinion, - this is a article worth for an newspaper!maybe, the Office of the Mayor of Lansing is so poor, that they have to take my 30.-? How can I make my collection more and more complete, without a Zippo from Lansing?!-And I told, them, if they are not able, to find a Zippo with the
state logo on,- then they could glue a little coat of arms from the city on a plain Zippo!None!
Any idea, Sir, how I can reach my target?
Maybe, you will have a moment time, to answer me!
Thank you very much in advance!!!
I am HUBERTUS HAMANN>>Stade/Germany

How did Hubertus pull this off?

Whenever I get a chain letter of any kind, I usually respond to it with a completely bogus chain letter of my own. Usually, it’s about a farmer who just lost his cow to a disease called “cowdienidis”, and some stuff about vets paying a dollar per person the chain letter reaches… or sometimes the bogus chain letter would be from a member of the mafia, and they need more money for pasta, and if you send the chain letter to enough people, they’ll make you a “Made Man”.

The things I do while waiting for Mp3’s to download…

Keep in mind that Jimmy Carter once tried to give a speech in Polish, and ended up assuring the citizens of that country that he wanted to have sex with them. English is a tough language if you don’t grow up with it.

If this wasn’t a hoax, I feel sorry for the guy. I used to live in Lansing, and as far as I could tell the main thing on the Mayor’s mind was whether Logan Avenue should be changed to Martin Luther King Boulevard, or vice versa. (When I was there, they had decided it was both.)

Keep in mind that Jimmy Carter once tried to give a speech in Polish, and ended up assuring the citizens of that country that he wanted to have sex with them.


No, Carter did not give the speech in Polish. He gave a speech in English in Poland, and the translator did a bad job of translation.

Well, if you translate the e-mail to German word-for-word, it makes a lot more sense (not total sense, mind you) than it does in English. I would say he used Babelfish, except the transmangling appears to have that “special human touch” that only non-native speakers of a language can add. :slight_smile:

Wendell Wagner said:

Never mind me–I’m over 30, and I have early senility. I was thinking of the story that John Kennedy told West Berliners that he was a jelly donut–which isn’t even true, as I understand it–and got myself all confused. (Not that I’m not often confused, you understand.)

The beauties of speaking different languages!! Just translate french swear words to English and you get a good laugh!! I feel sorry for the guy too. I mean I was unaware Zippos meant so much to people.

Actually, Carter said he had “warm feelings” towards the Polish people, and the translator interpreted that statement as “an erotic feeling”.

Jeez, I remember that incendent on the evening news. I feel old.