Look what I got in my e-mail today…

I have many subjects that I’m itching to write about. I was trying to figure out the first one for this morning when the following appears in my inbox:

Subject: FW: Mosquito Prevention/Listerine

I got this from a friend….very interesting!

The best way of getting rid of mosquitoes is Listerine, the original medicinal type. The Dollar Store-type works, too. I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared.

The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It orked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children’s swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don’t leave home without it…..

Pass it on.

We all get e-mails such as this from well meaning friends, relatives, and associates. The above was sent to about 200 people. I know the sender was well meaning and genuinely wanted to be helpful. However, I know that this kind of misinformation being spread can be nearly as annoying as spam.

Next on the list after this would be the jokes that keep getting sent. I’ve seen jokes sent by one person to a group, another person in that group sends it on to another group (to which I happen to belong), and so forth. I could see the same joke 200 times in the span of an hour because it was that good and everyone thought I would like it. To be honest, I probably did like it, but that was six months ago when I read it on rec.humor.funny.

So, how to deal with this. When I get an information type of e-mail from someone (whether it be good advice or a warning of some potential hazard) I’ll check it against a reference I trust. Most of the time, this will be Snopes. You can read what they have to say about the Listerine advice here. As you can see, it’s a waste of time.

To date, I have received exactly one e-mail forward which has any truth to it at all. You have to promise, however, NOT to spread the word out to all your friends but the details can be found here.

In addition to Snopes, you can use any search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) to determine the validity of any of these pieces of advice.

Any questions?

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