Dear Dr Ms Marcos:
I am in receipt of your email explaining that you have 18,000,000.00 (eighteen million) US Dollars deposited in a security company in Cotonou Benin Republic, and that you wish my assistance donating this money to charity, and furthermore that I should feel free to reimburse myself for any expenses I have distributing this largess.
This is certainly an interesting offer, and I’m all about reimbursing myself; unfortunately, I seem to have accidentally deleted your original email and therefore am attempting to contact you by this means.
I’m not one-hundred percent sure where the Cotonou Benin republic is, but I gather it is a place where English is spoken with a rather free-and-easy indifference to ordinary rules of grammar. For example, it is unusual to refer to oneself as “Dr. Ms.” Usually, if one is addressed as “doctor,” other honorifics, such as “Ms,” “Mrs,” or “Mr,” are omitted. Moreover, in correspondence, one does not normally refer to oneself as “doctor;” rather “MD” is appended after the name for a medical doctor, and “PhD” for a doctor of philosophy.
This is of course a very minor thing, but it is important to make a good impression when dealing with sums of 18,000,000.00 (eighteen million) US Dollars especially for a medical professional or possibly a doctor of philosophy. I read that you were also President and CEO of CON Oil International. I am not familiar with the company, but I assume it has something either to do with petroleum or possibly canola and explains your tremendous wealth; clearly CON Oil has high standards to accept nothing less than an MD or possibly PhD for its CEO.
Another small point - and I do want to get back to the subject of my reimbursement - is faulty parallelism. You stated that you wish to help “orphans in orphanages/motherless homes/humanitarians.” To start with, commas are more commonly used instead of slashes, but again, this is a trifling matter. Although redundant, it makes sturdy sense to help orphans in orphanages, but “motherless homes” implies the presence of a father, in which case, the children involved are not true orphans. You see the problem? And then, technically the placement of “humanitarians” means the orphans are in the humanitarians, which isn't possible unless in your country, humanitarians swallow orphans whole. You certainly don’t want to imply that, do you? (Ha, ha.)
As I said, these are very small matters, and the intent of your email was certainly clear enough. I feel almost ashamed for quibbling with your grammar, but again, if we are going to work together, it’s vital you present yourself in the best possible light. I also apologize for deleting your email. I hope this message will reach you, and that I can be of assistance distributing your fortune to worthy orphans in return for only a reasonable reimbursement to compensate me for my efforts.
(Originally posted March, 2011)