"Ok guys, this truly is freaky, the phone literally rang as soon as I read the last word of this email!!!!!"

Hard to know where to start, isn't it?

Aside from putting the world in danger of a chronic exclamation-mark shortage, this sentence, which we pluck at random from an email we just received, has several things wrong with it. One of these is the use of the word 'freaky', which has no place outside the titles of mother/daughter brain-swap comedies. Another is its villainous targeting of the gullible.

In case you've not received this particular chain email, allow us to give you the gist (it may sound familiar). 'Apparently', loads of people that forwarded the message to the requisite five recipients had their dearest wishes granted; in fact, stories about the wishes make up almost the entirety of the message, and one is left to wonder what was being forwarded by the first few people. Unless the stories are all completely fictitious BUT THAT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE THE CASE.

This is our favourite bit:

"Now follow this carefully... it can be very rewarding!!!!

"If you send this to 10 more people, other than the five that you already have to send to, something major that you've been wanting will happen."

Some people are so greedy, aren't they? They've just had their dearest wish granted, and they want something major as well! Still, it's really decent of the magic fairies to make the additional 10 recipients optional.

Anyway, we're sick of this stuff. No, it doesn't rip off anyone's cash or bank details, but think of all that wasted time – instead of forwarding emails, these people could be buying magic beans from the Loch Ness Monster while looking up the word 'gullible' in the dictionary.