Thinking Out Loud

April 11, 2019

In the Early Days of Merge Tags

Filed under: Christianity, Humor — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:52 am

Merge tags are common now, but there was a time when it was new technology. Imagine gathering the staff in the mail room and pointing out how key paragraphs of the latest fundraiser were personalized for each individual. 

Then there was Cobb’s Chicken Take Out. Someone keyed in their donation to The Old Time Gospel Hour under the name, “Chicken Take O. Cobbs.” And why not? The last name needs to be last, right?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this classic letter from the computerized fundraising department of Jerry Falwell’s television ministry lately because letters with merge tags have the same lack of authenticity now as they had then. The technology wasn’t all that complex and never needed much advancement, and the application science never improved.

Years ago, blogger and rabid U2 afficiando Dave Wainscott at the blog Holy Heteroclite was kind enough to post it to the internet for all to read (or, at least, the first page of it, as reproduced by the Witternburg Door at the time):

If anybody knows the whereabouts online of the complete letter in a text format, I’ll substitute it for the image.

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