Sunday, May 03, 2009



Whenever I get one of those cockamamie stories from family or friends — you know the ones, about how sending someone your bottle caps will save cancer patients, or that Congress is working on a bill to tax email — I reply with a pointer to Snopes is everyone’s favourite myth-debunking site.

And it’s good to have an easy response to these silly messages. Of course, they all tell you to “forward this to everyone you know,” and it’s so much nicer to pop off a reply to the sender with a link to Snopes, in the hope that at least that friend will (1) stop sending these things out, or (2) remove you from his address book, muttering a few unkind epithets along the way.

So I was particularly amused by this xkcd cartoon, poking fun at Snopes (click for full-sized version on

The MythBusters are even more sinister.

One of the most persistent of the debunked myths is the $250 cookie recipe. Bogus story, but the recipe makes some good cookies.


Call me Paul said...

I almost always reply to all with a link to, and include a brief quote from their story on the spam email in question. I hardly ever receive those kinds of email anymore. I'm under no illusions that I have convinced anyone to stop sending them. They've just, as you say, removed me from their forwarding lists. Works for me.

Laurie said...

My ex-father-in-law sends me all kinds of balderdash, to which I usually immediately respond with a link to snopes. It doesn't stop him. He has just started putting a disclaimer at the beginning indicating that he doesn't care whether or not it is true, and not to shoot the messenger. *sigh*

D. said...

I also send replies with the link, but I've more recently been the recipient of items that say they've been checked out on, and that they're absolutely true. Of course, that has never turned out to be the case.

Anonymous said...

LOL that was a good one.

Thankfully, emails like that have slowed down in recent years from my circle.