Greedy Goblin

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can u give 1G?

No, this is not a rant about begging M&S. Actually they are not even M&S, as they do something profitable. I'm going to talk about a social trick that make you give them money (maybe not personally you, but if no one would give them gold, they wouldn't be there)

Their typical communication is: "Can you give me 1G?" (most probably with spelling errors or annoying emoticons). Why?

The question means "Are you capable of giving me 1G?". This is a pointless question as the answer is obviously yes and also because the beggar doesn't really care about your abilities. He wants to know if you want to give him 1G. So why "Can u" instead of "Would u"?

Because it's another social trick. Social tricks try to motivate the social schemes (ape subroutines) in your head to do something stupid. While consciously you are aware that the question means "Do you give me 1G?", you also cannot discard the literal meaning of the question.

By answering "no" (or not answering at all), you subconsciously say "No, I'm incapable of doing it", while paying you think "Yes, I'm capable to do it". The former implies negative traits (incapable, unable, powerless, weak, loser) while the latter implies the opposite. Of course these are not real thoughts. It simply feels good to say "yes I can".

You think it's bullshit? Then look at this picture:

Do you think the world's best paid spin-doctors use bullshit?

Of course a sociopath goblin is completely immune for such things as we don't give a damn if people think we are incapable. I couldn't care less if half the world would think I'm the biggest loser ever lived. For me it's just sounds incorrect to use the form "can you" where "would you" be appropriate.

However if you are just partially social, care about other people's opinion, would like peers to like and respect you, you are vulnerable and must actively defend yourself from such manipulation.

This case the proper answer is "yes I can, I just don't want to waste my 1G on a moron like you". I use to do it when I have too much free time and it's quite fun.

If you are more than "just a little" social, you will feel bad while typing it, because rejecting a peer obviously generate bad opinion about you. You can speed up this action by keybinding a macro "/r Of course I can, I could give 1000G, I just don't give it to pathetic beggars". Just one hit on a key and you are done. It's just so easy.

PS: many commenters said it's pointless grammar-police to fix "may" for "can". It would be. However "may" is just as incorrect (though common), and used for the very same purpose. "May I have 1G?" means "Do you allow me to have 1G?". This reflects power on me, I'm (like a king) allows you something. However the beggar do not request a "license for 1G" from me. He wants my money. So the correct form is "Do you want to give me 1G?" or "Would you give me 1G?".

PS2: what is the most effective way for a friendly social person to reach gold cap?
Beg 1G from 214600 people.


Mark said...

I think this is a bit of a stretch. It's really just poor grammar that's become a sort of proper grammar in English. "Can," "would," "could," "might" and a few others are frequently interchanged, with everyone understanding the implied meaning. Like a school child who asks "Can I go to the bathroom?" Logically, unless the child is severely brain-damaged, of course he/she can go to the bathroom. All organisms do. The proper question is "May I go to the bathroom." Some people (mostly early teachers) will try and correct this, but it's of no avail. It's an ingrained grammatical quirk in English now. It's not going away any time soon, but it has no subversive or subconscious psychological function.

Gevlon said...

@Mark: the "can I go to the bathroom" question is may poorly, but NOT wrongfully formulated. The child must not go to the bathroom without the permission of the teacher. He is unable (without violation of the rules) to go to the bathroom.

In the same way "Can I get 1 G?" would be correct (as I CAN only get if I choose to" but "Can you give me?" is incorrect as you surely can.

Quicksilver said...

Here's what I did once:

I was, dont know from what reason in Stormwind (I dont usually spend time there because its full of M&S and lowbies, I prefer IF) and there was this guy doing the usual begging routine, pissing everyone off with opening trade window and saying "Can u me 1g"

So, I wanted to have a little fun with the moron.

I open up a trade window, put 500 gold there, but dont click accept, and go take a shower.

15 minutes later, I come back, who do you think was still there waiting for me to press the button... You guessed it... :)

Man I hate beggars. IRL and in game equally.

Observ said...

Let me tell you a storry from Vanilla.

I was playing ally at that time, on an RP-PVP server (Scarshield Legion EU that is).
As i was reading the realm forums often i stumbled onto an horde beggars guild. What they did, was begging for gold in major cities but via RP. Few of them posted gold made on sessions. The bigest chunk was 25g in 2 hours of play (as i recall it), however the question was was way more complex (and funny) than Can u (would u) give 1G?
Something like:

“Ere gov’ner, spare some copper for an old ex-leper?”

Here is also a link to them:

pippen1001 said...

hehe i remember back when i played i used to taunt those beggars by saying " Sure" opening trade and put in 1000g and leave my comp for like 45 min and the begger is still there spamming "plz plz plz" for the whole duration. Now that was fun times.

Viruzzz said...

What I've always done in all MMO's I've played is to Not answer at all if they aren't near me, if they are near me I usually open a trade, "flash" them whatever they ask for and close the trade. then ignore them until they get bored.

Jerk response, I know, but I have no intention of ever giving anything to a beggar.

Although It's fun to show them what they want, then close it and claim you accepted and completed the trade.

We Fly Spitfires said...

Very interesting post. I have a question though. If accruing 214600g is most effective by asking 214600 for 1g, then, according to Goblin Login, shouldn't everyone be advised to do it?

Surely you can't comdemn a valid way of acquiring money! :)

Personally I think Blizzard should add a proper /beg command with it's own interface and sound effects.

*vlad* said...

There is usually a second part to the begging question along the lines of:
..I need repairs as my gear is broke

..I need to buy Imba Weapon X from the AH

..I need to level up my X profession

...I need a mount and I'm 5 gold short

...I will pay you back when I can afford to.

Normally I just reply along the lines of

"I need to save 5k gold for my epic flying mount, so I can't afford to give you anything".

or: "Go and kill some mobs like everyone else".

If they open a trade window on me, I usually leave it open until they close it themsleves.
If they open a trade window on me while I already have a window open, they go stright to my ignore list.

Anonymous said...

It just possesses no logic, number of keys to press for begging 14, number of keys to press to aoe enough to drop 1g, about 6.

25g in two hours is less than grinding elementals

Me said...

"Can I" and "may I" are two different things. If you can do something it means you are capable of it. "May I" is more asking permission.

When I am asked "Can I have 1G?" my answer is "yes" as well (or sometimes it's "you can as much gold as you want until capped"). It is possible that I could give them 1G or they may have 1G on them. By the time they ask why I have not given them the money, I am usually gone.

I also do this in stores with aggressive sales people. There are small booths now where the women will ask if they can ask me a question or show me their product. I say "yes", but I keep walking! LOL

Ewber said...

Love the blog man,
I started doing things the goblin way, and im up about 40k+ profit after a month.

Anyways, you should do a post about 3.2 and what goblinish opportunities it brings with the new EPIC gems and patterns. I'm sure there is loads of gold to be had in the first week after 3.2 hits.

Unknown said...

I use the Automatic Goblin Therapist addon for such people.

Click and put them into "surgery" and let them have a therapy conversation with artificial intelligence.

Granted its not the best in artificial intelligence... but it does let you know that you "succeeded" when they hit the ignore button on you.

Markco said...

I tell them to go kill boars and sell the meat, they usually run off and have like 10 gold the next day.

pippen1001 said...

On another topic, yesterday i was discussing a possible business. There are lots of people willing to pay gold for getting vanity gear from sunwell. So we discussed it in trade last night, if you get 14 people that you later pay (ie workers) and you have 10 tourists willing to pay 1000g with a fee of 100g extra for administration and handling of workers etc. The thing is they get their deposited money back if they complete the full raid and got no loot whatsoever they wanted. Else if they got loot or left before time the money goes to boss and workers. So all in all 10 players willing to pay 1000g + 100g fee means 10000g + 1000g = 11000g which you then can pay your workers with and still get a nice sum for yourself.

Ofcourse you could vary the price discounts etc.

Yaggle said...

What about the other type of begging I always hear in the cities? For example I was working on some tailoring with my 75 druid in Orgrimmar yesterday and I got a tell "Can you please help my group do Shadow Labs?". I can never understand why I get these questions so often. Why why WHY would I do that? I would never EVER ask higher level people to do that for me. I mean, to go all the way from Orgrimmar to help some people I don't know do Shadow Labs........why would I do that? And how could anybody in these times(level 80 cap times) be that desperate to be boosted through Shadow Labs anyways?

Dan said...

The mailbox addon Postal has a nifty little feature that automatically denies outside trade requests. I have to remember to disable it on one account when I trade between them (I run two accounts). Personally I would love to get the next beggar I find with 25k gold (most I have on one character) in the trade window then leave for class.

Anonymous said...

Can vs. May sounds like grammer police.

Most people consider can meaning able to, or would you, or might you, or may I.

Its implied.

imo the reason why it works is not because of the wording. its because you asked for a small amount and asked a lot of people.

If you said: "May I have 1 gold please" I think people would think you are strange, but "can I has 1g plz" is normal for internet speak.

Its kind of like "don't even think about it." Means don't even think about doing that. But literally it means don't think about it and do it.

language has little to do with it. People give to beggers because they want to help and/or pity them.

The sad thing is that those that beg and don't need it make people like me never give because I think the begger is lying about their situation.

Sven said...

My favourite solution to beggars with my banking alt (a troll mage):

"Jus' a momen'."

*casts arcane intellect*

"Now ya smart enough ta make it fa yaself..."

Bitwise said...

It's really a matter of interpretation.

In my opinion, neither may or can are correct. "Will you give me one gold?" would be more appropriate.

Personally, if someone asks me "Can I have one gold?" i'll simply choose to misinterpret it as "Am I capable of having one gold?" and respond appropriately.

TonyBone said...

I love situations like this -- being able to play the literal smart ass for the begging lazy. "Can I have some gold?" My typical response is something along the lines of "Can is a question of ability. Only you can truly know your own capabilities and limitations. Look within and find your answer." Then simply move on. I don’t /ignore them though, because I love to see their inevitable dumbfounded response.

Of course those that happen to stagger through with proper grammar and ask "May I have some gold?" are given fairer treatment. They get the honest and succinct answer. "No."

Bristal said...

Another "I hate beggars" post? kind of a let down today, Gevlon. Anyone who spends 2 seconds considering or messing with beggars is bored in-game and is probably playing too much.

Most of these "check out what i did to this beggar once" stories are WoW folklore that people read and recycle over and over (especially the open trade w/ 100G and go make a sandwich or go farm 100 light feathers and i'll give you 50G and miraculously the lvl 10noob is now a level 25 shining knight who showers me with praise for showing him the way).

I've played 18 months about 10 hours a week and can count on two hands the number of times I've been "begged". Ignore them. They can only get your attention if you give it to them.

It's an old story.

And I'm a bit suspicious (and probably the reason I'm flaming) about you using the Yes We Can Obama icon. What the hell does that have to do with your post other than the word "CAN"? You appear to be wanting to say something political but can't quite decide what. And the whole can/may grammar thing is pretty ironic coming from a blogger who writes:

"The question means "Are you capable to give me 1G?"."
-capable OF GIVING

"...because the beggar don't really care..."
-DOESN'T really care

"No, I'm incapable to do it"

"Do you think the world most payed spin-doctors use bullshit?"

and yes, the world's best paid spin doctors use gold plated bullshit encrusted with diamonds. Because they CAN.

Mark said...


Just about any elementary school teacher will correct a student by saying something like, "Of course you CAN go to the bathroom. May you?" implying that the verb qualifier "may" is required to ask permission rather than can. "Can" as a qualifier has slipped into the function of "may" and several other qualifiers just as a sort of nationwide colloquialism.

Craig R said...

"It's paid, not "payed". You do that a lot. People would take you more seriously if you would at least use a spellchecker."

Except 'Payed' is a proper word in the English language just as paid is, and a spell checker will not correct it, because it is not spelled incorrectly.

Craig R said...

Also, @Bristal
your questioning of the Obama Picture shows you didn't understand the purpose of its use.
This isn't about the sheer difference between can and may.
It's about the effect they have on our subconscious.
Gevlon is positing that if we are asked if we 'Can' do something, and we don't do it, we feel bad. If we do it, we feel good. He illustrates this using the poster. What does 'Yes we can' have to do with Obama's political position? not much. But it does make you feel part of the team, capable of accomplishment; Included.

Also, seriously. Have you not yet figured out Gevlon's first language isn't English? I think that's obvious.

Anonymous said...

@ everyone pointing out Gevlon's grammatical faults: English isn't his first language, leave him alone.

Anonymous said...

When I saw that poster/picture of Obama I just assumed his PR company had been watching too much Bob the Builder.

Small children are bad for your brain function ;-)

Gevlon said...

@"may I" people: answer included in the post

@bobturkey: Treating voters like small children is good for results :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree a lot with what you say in this post.

After reading it a question of Goblinism rose in my head.

If in real life, were taxes are very much real, unlike Warcraft, would it be Goblin like to pretend to be homeless, stand on the side of a street holding a sign asking for money. Now, if they were able to get just 7 dollars in an hour they would be making more than minimum wage in an hour. Would this be considered Goblinish since you, yourself, may very well be well off, but you decided to take advantage of people's social feelings and exploit their need to give to the needy.

That is why I never give money to homeless and other charities that help them.

Anonymous said...

Correcting/"lesson-giving" is really just running around the problem. The dude wants your gold cuz you look like you have some. Sometimes the asking doesnt even include any words eg: '10g plzz'. My solution :D, macro '/s farm this [enter] /fart'. FTW I tell you ;)

Dblade said...

Mark, what's funny is that "May I go to the bathroom?" is just as incorrect in terms of the question. The teacher can reply "Of course you may, I can't prevent you from doing so."

The usage is interchangable mostly because the question itself is shorthand for "May you give me permission to leave class and use the bathroom?" But the implied part has to deal with the location change and the teacher having authority over the student to punish him from leaving class.

Gevlon is reading an implied intent not consciously used. And he is being pedantic. If he rolled on an open PVP server, and he was asked by someone "Can we duel some?" he'd take it as intended, a query for permission.

He doesn't understand that language often is a shorthand to convey contextual meanings more than it is a precise tool. Especially in real-time and verbal usage, to be able to actually talk requires a lot of implied subjects and actions.

Also, for someone to complain about social tricks while using terms like "Ape subroutines" which have zero literal meaning and are entirely connotative is dishonest.