In the 21st century the new equivalent excuse to “the dog ate my homework” has become “sorry I didn’t reply to you — your message got caught in my spam filter”. I often find that the overzealous spam filter in my Outlook/Entourage client has a serious false-positive problem. In contrast to my MSFT mail-client, as a user of Postini’s excellent service, and as an investor in the company, I’m happy to say that I seldom find messages that shouldn’t be there caught in Postini’s quarantine area, which has an extremely low false-positive rate.
But on occasion I’ve had to use (truthfully) the excuse that I’ve not seen a message from a colleague because it was caught in Entourage’s Junk E-mail folder. And since it has happened to me, I know it must happen to others too. So maybe “it got caught in my spam filter” is an even better and more plausible excuse than “the dog ate my homework”. Not everyone has a dog, but almost everyone has a spam filter. If I don’t reply to your message, now you know why. Honest.