African Scam Letters’ Linguistic Anthropology
African Scam Letters’ Linguistic Anthropology Essay
In his article, Ottenheimer resorts to the evaluation of the superior charge fraud, which is called African rip-off letters. There is hardly an individual who has never acquired such type of a letter. As a rule, their authors impersonate themselves for different individuals, introducing themselves as princes, sheiks, high officials or royals. These letters promise high financial advantages to their recipient. However, in case of response, a victim of this fraud will be involved in a monetary gamble that will come at a excessive cost to him.
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As a rule, these letters check with megabuck, which cannot be obtained with out the recipient’s assistance. All what is required is to ship a small sum of money and the sender of the letter will reward the recipients with fabulous wealth. It goes without saying that the victim won’t ever see the promised bounty. The state of affairs could also be totally different but the sense is all the time the same.
The first cases of this fraud have been mounted in Nigeria through the financial crisis of the 1980th. In a course of time, the extent of the group of this fraud has increased. Nowadays a sufferer could also be launched to nonexistent business companions or he could also be invited for a enterprise meeting in an workplace of a reliable company. In spite of the truth that this kind of the fraud is extensively unfold everywhere in the world and the majority of people find out about its existence, material losses caused by this affair are thumping.
In his article, the author investigates completely different examples of such letters and he concludes that their success is predetermined by their African character. The author has made this conclusion after the identification of the origin of those letters. It has been discovered that almost all of letters, which have pretended to be from Africa, have been sent from other international locations.
While describing completely different methods utilized by the scammers to be able to persuade their potential victims, the creator distinguishes between a number of views. They are social engineering, investment scamming and linguistic ideology. In his article, the author states that virtually in every letter a combination of those three perspectives may be discovered.
Nevertheless, the creator is satisfied that it’s the language ideology that plays the most important function in a victims persuasion. Ottenheimer resorts to the evaluation of different stylistic means which might be utilized by scammers to be able to create the illusion of the African origin of these letters.
For instance, some letter are overfilled with spelling mistakes, whereas others are suffering from sophisticated words that are not often utilized in conversational language. As a rule, the originators of such letter resort to odd capitalizations where they’re pointless. Words within the letters could also be spelled completely but there are many examples of strange elisions. In order to create an illusion of the formal African speech, the authors resort to an inappropriate word order.
The essential characteristic, which is typical practically for every letter of this kind, is an absence of contractions. Ottenheimer states that the avoidance of contractions is associated with the speech of an African from a noble royal household. Moreover, this sort of letters is characterized with an overuse of infinitives in places the place they shouldn’t be used.
All these linguistic peculiarities are used so as to make the reader imagine that this letter has been despatched from Africa. Ottenheimer states that in western countries, particularly within the USA, there’s a prejudice created by mass media, that Africa is a country of the contrast between the acute poverty and overabundance. This success of the African rip-off letters is defined by a false opinion of their victims that they are helping primitive people who are blind to dealing with giant sums of cash.
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