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Thursday, November 4, 1999 Published at 16:55 GMT


UK

Do you .com here often?



Every bumbling teenage boy dreams about global fame, but not the way Christian Kolden achieved it.

The 18-year-old cadet from the United States has become the butt of jokes for thousands of girls around the world.

His mistake - to confess his undying love by e-mail.

What chat-up lines work for you? What's the worst line you've ever heard?

Click here to send us the best and worst

When Mr Kolden, who is based at the US Airforce Academy in Colorado, took a shine to Laura Schatte, a cadet in a neighbouring squadron, he decided to turn on the online charm.

But Miss Schatte, 19, was not impressed by his cheesy turn of phrase, which was more "B" movie than Byron.

In fact she thought it so dreadfully cringe-worthy, she forwarded the mail to her friends as an example of how not to win a girl's heart.


[ image:  ]
They in turn forwarded it to their friends and shortly the mail found its way to every US military base around the world, and elsewhere.

You can almost hear the rich belly laughs as e-mailers digest the contents of Mr Kolden's romantic missive.

"If your love was a grain of sand, my love would be a universe of beaches."

Referring to himself as the Alaskan Assassin he asked: "Are you tired girl, because you have been running through my head all day?

Equation expert

"I know I am not good at math, but I know the equation of love. It equals you plus me."

And adapting a line from the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maguire, he proclaimed: "You complete me. You had me at hello the first time you and me met."

Before reaching for the sick-bag, it's worth remembering that whatever your age and preferred prose style, finding romance over the internet is an uncertain pursuit.

Chat-up lines are varied but rarely as poetic as Mr Kolden's. A glance at the male offerings on the Top Shop bulletin board reveals they range from:

  • the simplistic: "Whas'up all you lovely ladies?"

  • to the Austin Powers-inspired: "Dr. Evil needs a henchwoman for the obvious evil deeds, taking over the world, etc."

  • to the plain desperate: "My girl friend dumped me a month ago and I miss all the kisses and cuddles."

Queen of etiquette and author of Modern Manners, Drusilla Beyfus, said part of the problem with Mr Kolden's communitcation was the medium.

"E-mail is not a considered medium of communication. Part of its charm is that you dash off thoughts. It's not good for serious, heartfelt communication."


[ image: Leonardo di Caprio: His romantic Romeo is a big hit with teenage girls]
Leonardo di Caprio: His romantic Romeo is a big hit with teenage girls
"It was a ridiculous letter" but Miss Schatte broke the ultimate rule by divulging the contents to her friends.

Marina Crooks, of teenage girls' magazine Bliss, says two-thirds of its readers have Internet access and many use the on-line chat-up forums.

"It's not as nerve wracking as looking someone in the eye. And they tend to do it with their friends so it can be a bit of fun.

"They don't tend to get very romantic. They like to talk about music, TV, football, clothes - the things that interest them."

But she feels there is also room for die-hard romantics such like Mr Kolden.

"Young girls are still into romance and romantic language. Romeo and Juliet, with Leonardo di Caprio, was a massive hit and it was all in Shakespearean language.

"Our readers would love the thought of receiving romantic poetry. I think many other girls would have loved to have received [Mr Kolden's] e-mail."

Send us your best and worst chat-up lines:
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Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.



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