Have you ever stopped to ponder just how ridiculous it is that computer generated e-mails sent in response to your actions start off with “Dear Mr. Jones,”? I have. And it’s pretty darn ridiculous.
Now, to be honest, I’ve been bothered by the whole “Dear” letter greeting since childhood. In personal letters it almost seems as if it has been cheapened. Sure, your sweetheart will open with “Dear,” but so will your neighbor across the street, writing you to formally complain about Naked Tuesdays. In business contexts, it is entirely pointless. Only the loneliest withered vicarious HSN-watchers have any illusions about “Dear So-and-So” having any real personal significance.
But putting aside my problems with “Dear” in general, the computer-generated “Dear” is still utterly ludicrous. Computers were never intended to be stand-ins for humans. They’re supposed to make our lives easier, not burden us with outdated and inappropriate idioms.
Imagine if computers expected the same inane frivolities in return!
$ whois google.com error: inappropriate query style $ Dear Computer, whois google.com Love, Mark error: insufficient postage $ cd /etc error: you didn't say "please" $ please cd /etc /etc$ System is going down NOW for reboot! (You didn't say "thank you")
Can’t we just get over it? Why must we continue to live in this perpetual fantasy in which computers are the butlers we can’t afford? Are women to blame for this insanity, or was it the work of touchy-feely focus groups?
Please post this entry.