to be governed by the exact phraseology and literal meaning of every word or phrase employed. . . . [C]ourts will not blindly follow the letter of a law, when its purpose is apparent, to consequences which are inconsistent with that purpose; and this would seem to be particularly true when the results of a literal interpretation, if adopted, would be absurd . . . .” (In re Davis (1936) 18 Cal.App.2d 291, 295-296.)
The purpose of section 266i as stated in the cases we have discussed is apparent, and to hang everything on one literal meaning of the word “become” would generate consequences inconsistent with that purpose. Thus, in our view, the Legislature does not need to change the wording of section 266i from “become a prostitute” to “engage in prostitution.” (Wagner, supra, 170 Cal.App.4th at p. 509.) The latter concept is necessarily contained within the former. The statute as worded, and as interpreted by a long line of cases from California courts, is adequate. It covers acts encouraging “even an established prostitute to alter her business relations.” (Patton, supra, 63 Cal.App.3d at p. 218.)
We add here that we consider the act of contacting a person who has placed an advertisement for possible prostitution on the Internet, and persuading her to become an actual—as opposed to a potential or virtual—prostitute by engaging in acts of prostitution, a violation of section 266i.
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Wagner is correct as to its legal analysis, the facts here are different. Firstly, our defendant was charged in the language of both subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2) of the statute and was found guilty of two violations of