My Fifth Third Rant: Inordinate Ordinal Usage

31 01 2007

Do you get scams in your email from an operation called Fifth Third Bank? What kind of name is that? Is that some kind of Brit thing? I’ve never seen this type of double-ordinal use before, and something about it bugs the crap out of me.

I mean, which is it, a fifth of a third or a third of a fifth? I don’t really care, but it sounds wishy-washy to have both be possible. Or perhaps it is the fifth bank called “Third,” meaning I somehow missed the first through fourth Third Banks. Whatever happened to them?

For godsake, why not make the brash move and call yourself “Fourth Bank.” You might just be the first at that (if so please, spare us the verbiage of calling yourself First Fourth Bank—the first part will be understood). Only a truly self-deprecating institution with no self-esteem whatsoever would call itself Fifth Third Bank. I mean how low on the totem pole do you want to set your brands’ horizons, anyway?

Maybe the name has a more sinister strategy behind it. Perhaps the dis-logic and cacophony of the name “Fifth Third” is so confusing that the mind cannot stop itself from spooling off into space, trying to figure out what a fifth of a third is, as every human being has been trained to automatically complete such math “word problems” since junior high school. The result is a consciousness so vacant, so completely out to lunch figuring fractions as to set one up like a bowling pin for the scam-of-the-day coming from Fifth Third Bank, or, as it turns out, the cunning thieves hiding behind the actual Fifth Third Bank’s, um, “good” name.

What, I won the lotto (one over five times one over three is…), great! What, I have to send you a $1000 cashier check to Russia to claim my prize (carry the one and then…), sure! Oh, you just need my bank code (or is it divide the five into the three? I forget)… Sure, here’s my social security number, did I mention my mother’s maiden name? No problem…

I think that is a pretty good explanation for why the Fifth Third Bank gets so many scammers using the name–Wikipedia reports that a whole third of phishers use the Fifth Third Bank name! Even more shocking though is that the scammers did not come up with this name on their own and that there is a real bank named Fifth Third Bank—and it’s not even a Brit bank. It’s in Ohio or something.

I’ve never heard of or from the real Fifth Third Bank, so in a way, the Fifth Third Bank phishers are providing good (if not great) advertising for old Fifth Third Bank. And I must admit, it’s the kind of name you don’t set down and forget just like that. It sticks in ones head a lot better than any junior-high fraction math, that’s for sure.

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2 responses

3 03 2007
arnoldthemethodical

Maybe when the bank was young it traded from Apple Blossom Drive and wanted to sound like it was nestled among all the other banks in the city centre but had to drop the ‘Fifty’ to ‘Fifth’ so the postman didn’t get confused.
American marketing you see; so how could you miss that one when you are sat there surrounded by Americans? well really!!
For future reference if I ever wanted to sell anything I would use an American to market that product as they are the best marketers in the world, except you apparently, but keep blogging I likes your stuff.

Ps She who must be obeyed, has just looked over my shoulder and rubbished my idea, I shall have to start introducing her to everyone as my First wife again, just to keep her on her toes. Mmmm the power of numbers!!

3 03 2007
badapple

Arnold,
I think you are feeling stung about my Brit comment. I am a fine marketer, thank you very much. Your fifth-fifty explanation leaves me mystified. Another Brit thing, I suppose.
Okay, I admit that the only thing anyone trusts me to market these days is a branch of public libraries, but it’s not very easy being a marketer in a nation of marketers, you know. You might think about that next time before you say what a crappy marketer I am, Arnold.

Still it would be inordinate for me not to note that you are the First to put a site of mine (Self Help for Cats) on your blogrole, and for that you will always have a special place in the ordinates of my Inter-Web. You happen to also share a name with my governator, and so far I like you more than him. Thanks for the comment and hello to First wife!

[Oops! The wretched comment above was written by my evil improvising inner-twin who clearly twisted Arnold’s email into a sort of cross-national drama for the sake of entertainment. Bad Apple practices improv theater in her down time, and apparently one result is the ability to turn even a simple comment into a treachery of changing status and turn of plot. My apologies to Arnold, as I seem to have gotten carried away. Bad Apple forgot it’s much harder to be funny on page than on stage, and will try not to be so theatrical with future beloved commentors.]

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