WP29 Making millions: English, indexicality and fraud

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This paper focusing on e-mail spam hoax messages, originating from somewhere in the periphery of the world and sent to a large number of addressees in the core countries of the world system. It argues that the complex of linguistic, stylistic and generic requirements projected onto textual artefacts like these can be read as the lowest empirically observable level of globalization, as globalization-on-the-ground. Globalization now clearly dislodges the associative link between locality, speech community and communicative function, and while we have some answers to the question about how to imagine translocal speech communities, we still struggle to come to terms with the idea of translocal functions. Texts like these may offer us a glimpse of the potential and limitations of translocal functioning.
The paper argues (1) that the authors of these messages are fully inserted in the technology of globalized communication; (2) that there is also very clearly a significant degree of awareness of generic conventions for the messages; but (3) that authors fail to produce ?complete?, ?faultless? realizations of the genres. This then produces rich indexical messages which exclude some addressees and include others ? incomplete instances of genre realization create, in other words, peculiar translocal speech networks.