Stupid Email Disclaimers

I get a lot of email from people asking for help getting on the Internet with their Treo 650. One such email came to my inbox today, but attached to the bottom of it was yet another one of those stupid email disclaimers. Email disclaimers are wrong for so many reasons, but this one took the cake:

this e-mail contains intelectual property & confidential information belonging to the sender/reciever, which is protected by the physician/patient privilege & WIPO laws and treaties. this information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. if you are not the intended recipient, you are here by notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, utilization or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this information is prosecutable by law. members of medical management office solutions, llc maintains the legal right to protect its concepts, ideas and utilization, implementation of such concepts and ideas as enforceable by law. if you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately.

Normally when I get a disclaimer like this, as a matter of principle, I simply reply to the sender and tell them that I refuse to help them unless they can correspond with me minus the pointless legal mumbo jumbo. After all, why should I help someone who’s making legal threats against me and might take me to court should I allow their “confidential” email fall into the wrong hands?

But when I noticed that the author of this intellectual-sounding disclaimer misspelled “intellectual,” I just had to respond with a disclaimer of my own. At the bottom of my reply to him, I added the following text:

Unless you are named “Arnold P. Fasnock,” you may read only the odd-numbered words (every other word beginning with the first) of the message above. If you have violated this notice, you hereby owe the sender, Trevor Harmon, $10 for each even-numbered word you have read.

That felt good.

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