You’ve got sp@m: a textual analysis of unsolicited Japanese dating invitation mails

Backhaus, Peter GND

This paper analyzes the language of Japanese spam mails. Special focus is on one specific type of spam: make-believe dating invitations by women looking for physical relationships with male partners. A corpus of 434 spam mails was compiled between 2009 and 2012. Looking at two of these messages in detail, the paper examines the specific properties of this type of spam. These include linguistic features commonly associated with computer-mediated communication (CMC) and Japanese women’s language. Their function is to increase the “authenticity” of the messages. In a second step, I analyze how spam mail writers in their messages deal with the problem of portraying female sexuality and desire, with a special focus on the role of linguistic taboos and transgressions thereof.