Nylon Stockings and Denier Spam
Puzzled by a spate of strange comments being posted on my teaching blog lately, I looked to Google search for an explanation.
The comments range from vacuous puffs written in a strange kind of English,
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to utter gibberish:
l watches, and he led free on some chair asks umbrella that he knocked well longer flat as his credit. By on it had tightly see with it appeared smaller jerry of ourselves! His samay or watches. Polar felt accountable heart, at monitor came the better around the watches or jake matter. Weight would’ve that he safely. I nodded crossing then silvery, which grotesquely had then of the organic hour.
In searching the web, I hoped to find out what benefit anyone could derive from posting this kind of drivel in a comment section. I never did discover a satisfactory explanation, but I have learned a new expression: denier spam.
As I grew up in an age when nylon stockings were a staple of every woman’s wardrobe, the only association the word denier had for me was:
denier: a unit of fineness for silk, rayon, or nylon yarn equal to the fineness of a yarn weighing 0.05 gram for each 450 meters of length or one gram for each 9000 meters b : the fineness of a silk, rayon, or nylon yarn or fabric.
Could “denier spam” be an especially fine variety of spam?
I kept looking until the penny finally dropped. The word I was seeing wasn’t denier [dən-yā], as in 20-denier nylon, it was denier [dĭ-nī’ər], as in “one who denies.”
Apparently denier spam is the sort that comes from one-issue readers who use a blog’s comment section to soapbox lengthy denials of global warming, the geological age of the earth, the perils of permitting people to carry concealed weapons, etc.
It’s a relief to have learned the correct pronunciation and meaning of denier spam, but I’m still at a loss to understand the purpose of what I’ve come to call empty puff spam and gibberish spam.
What’s the benefit to those who place it?