Voting appeals and poor translations

For your consideration:

You don’t want to hear the rest of this, do you? Well, the good news for you is that apparently this form of promotion has fallen out of favor this year for the second round of IBMA awards voting. I know that neither I, my record label, nor my publicist Francisco from Grassalicious publicity have sent anything like that out, and many others have made a similar choice. Some are still sending them, if only for nostalgia’s sake.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I’ve even defended it in the past, because, honestly, IBMA voting suffers from a lack of participation, which means that a few votes one way or the other makes a difference. Additionally, awards voting in the Grammys, the CMAs and other organizations is full of what appear to be open attempts to bribe members into voting their way (apparently one country artist mailed out a full set of guitar-shaped mud-flaps to every eligible voter to promote the song Get Muddy, Girl as Single of the Year). This makes our IBMA vote-solicitation attempts seem subtle by comparison. Still, if people are turned off by any kind of appeal for votes, “for your consideration” emails could possibly have a negative effect, and that may be where we are today in the process.

What this has done for me this year is to declutter my inbox, so I can now pay more attention to conspiracy theory emails from high school friends who’ve lost their minds, and emails like this one from Mr. Peter Wong of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. (I promise I didn’t make this up):

My dear friend and partner,

Thank you for considering my proposal. I contacted them about a deceased client Mr. Hamadi Hashem (An Iraqi oil merchant), and it is an investment in our banks management . . .

And skipping to the heart of the email, several unintelligible paragraphs later:

What I want to smack you will reflect off unethical practices, but I want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of private banking especially is full of huge rewards for those who sit upon certain chairs and oversee certain portfolios.

What I’m saying basically is that U.S. $ 22,500,000.00 deposit just lying unclaimed. And all investigation by the bank a next of kin identified come to an end without success.

Well, I’m ready. The information needed to provide you as the next surviving ratio I also imagine that after successful execution of the business, which means the ratio 30/70 will be paid. 30% of the funds you will be with yourself as the next of kin and a foreign account for safe transfer of funds and 70% to go for me. Please let me know. In your next correspondence if the above sharing ratio is okay by you.

Once again, I ask that if you have no interest in this project that you ignore this mail and forget I ever contacted you, I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive, not destroy my career.

And on it goes. Then it struck me: maybe people aren’t tired of IBMA voting appeals; they’re just tired of the style of those appeals. I’ll admit that whenever I see the phrase “For Your Consideration” at the head of an email, I usually don’t read on. It just no longer grabs me. Besides, it’s the second round, which means that unlike the wide open first round, all of the eligible artists and songs are in an easy-to-read list, so I can quickly look down the column and pick five worthy names myself. But what if artists took a tip from Mr. Wong and others like him who are just trying to find someone willing take $22,500,000 off a bank’s hands (minus a small 70% commission to be paid up front)?

This is a vote-solicitation that would really pique my interest:

Dear Trusted Friend,

I am your humblest friend, servant, and mandolin player Ronnie Greenway of bluegrass band Wyndy Thyng a team of singing musicians of fullest certification and declared accomplishment.

I write to you because of informations acquired stating with infallible conclusions that you are complete voting member of IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association), and that you are a person with utmost traits of values and trustworthy trends.

You may not have been led to all awareness of the fact of our being of choosing to select us for voting in the second round of vote ballots for the awards to be held at a later date. Particularly, and with discreet knowledge, I call attention to Song of the Year Grandpa’s Hernia, Album of the Year Our Grass is Your Grass, Vocal Group of the Year (Wyndy Thyng), as well as Entertainer of the Year (Wyndy Thyng).

And now for faithful consideration of these songs and peoples I want you to understand something: we would ask a vote to be placed on or with our behalf in electric balloting that will reach conclusion on 30 June, 2017. Your action prior to this fixed date is implored on behalf of ourselves and our affiliated partners.

Well, I’m ready. I will utmost find requesting positive signals and vote to be placed in categories stated in earlier language. For consideration of safety, all IBMA voting is guaranteed some secret ballot and will leave no mark, so as not to cause undue harm and misunderstanding with me, yourself, or any surviving ratio.

Due to sensitivity and discretionary nature of subject at hand, I would ask that if you have no interest in voting for us, that you would speak no words to others regarding this communication. Not be vindictive or joke-making. This would be given much appreciation by certain people who sit upon certain chairs playing certain instruments with eight strings.

Yours in trustful sincerity,

Ronnie Greenway