Jeff Koyen got an email from a representative of "Mabuhay, Philippine Airlines' inflight magazine," asking permission to reprint an article he'd written. For 15 cents per word. Oh, but:
Dear Mr. Koyen,
My sincerest apologies, but I failed to mention that the words "a", "and", and "the" are not included in the rate. Would you still be interested in writing this piece for us?
Now I don't know if this story is actually true or not but knowing Philippine Airlines, I tend to think that it is.
It reminds me of another story, also unverified, about how Mabuhay ran a travel photography contest with the fine print that "all entries become the property of Mabuhay." End result: they built up a collection of stock photography without having to pay the non-winning photographers a cent. Smart, eh? Too smart.
May I suggest to future contributors of Mabuhay to drop all articles and conjunctions from their submissions. After all, if Mabuhay isn't willing to pay for them, there's no reason to include them, right?