It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all." . . . . .
- T.S. Eliot
Jokes not coming across on email? Losing friends left and right? Everyone thinks you're a psycho? Well, consider your problems over with Meaning Mate 3.0. From the people who didn't bring you ICQ, this revolutionary new program will solve your communication troubles forever.* It works by giving you a choice of terms to help convey the true meaning of your email. In standard mode, a little menu bar appears at the top of your screen while you compose your message. Whenever you hit a trouble spot, just click the appropriate explicon™ and it appears [in brackets] in the body of your email. It's so easy!™ Or, if you don't even want to bother with that, you can set it on hands-free mode, and it will automatically interpret your meaning and insert the proper explicons™ for you. No more wasting good time proofreading or worrying about choosing the right words. Just type away whatever pops into your head, and let Meaning Mate 3.0 do the rest. The program will get to know you over time, using our patented Persona™ technology, based on neural networking.** Meaning Mate 3.0 works with Outlook Explorer, Eudora and Hotmail. Get it now and get back your freedom of self-expression.* For English speaking users only.
** It usually takes about 5000 to 10,000 emails for the program to fully grasp the nuances of your unique personality. Your computer may experience side effects including transient memory loss, slowed response times and power shifts. In rare instances, your central processing unit may walk out on you. Contact your local service respresentative if your computer exhibits any of these symptoms. Meaning Mate 3.0 is not for computers who may be pregnant or in control of weapons-grade anthrax.
Here's how it works.From: firstname.lastname@example.orgAnd here is the reply generated using Meaning Mate™.
Subject: your t shirts
In this week's Enquirer, Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls is wearing a T-Shirt that says "Yoga Kills". It's hand-written in pink puffy paint on a pink shirt. Can you get in touch with her? She's a candidate for the "Role Model" tee. Wait, have you already been in touch with her?
I like the "art hater" shirt, but am I not very intellectual if my favorite one is "shoplifter"? I could say that the reason I like it is because minorities (read: blacks) are always assumed to be the shoplifters. Ha! I'm so white! And I have a leather purse!
Still like you,
- MFrom: email@example.com
Subject: re: your t shirts
[perfunctory and thinly veiled hostility] Hey, how's it going. Nice to hear from you finally.
[sarcasm] Damn spice girls edging me out again.
[declarative] No, you're not un-intellectual. You don't have to "hate art" as i do. Actually, "shoplifter" is the most recent addition, and I think it's good. Anyone can wear it in any store, or not in a store, like, let's say, on the street for example, and it's instant humor or tension, whichever.
Couple [oh, still declarative] points—the baby doll's are Anvil brand, so they're not quite as nice as the ones at the Gap, but they cost much less so whatever. He can do silk screening if we sell a lot of a particular shirt. Otherwise, it's heat transfer, which is alright, but must be washed cold/cold, no bleach.
[sucking up or something] Just some information I thought you should know.
[complete tangent] Hey, can you believe the FDA is going to ban raw milk cheese from Europe? What a croque monsieur!
[lame ass excuse for being a freak] I just now had a huge cup of coffee. [disingenuine attempt at coming clean] Actually, it was a while ago.
[perfunctory, or maybe sarcasm, wait a minute—please see user's manual reference #116] Anyway, it was great to hear from you.
- bacon [???]
[to be read slowly]
[joking, with a grain of truth]
[disappointed, trying to be big about it]
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- P. Brittle, Drury, Connecticut
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Don't forget to visit our website today at www.meaningmate.com to purchase your copy of Meaning Mate 3.0™, download new expressions (free with purchase) or upgrade from version 2.0 (50% discount with proof of alientation).