Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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Your Welcome

January 11, 2012
New York, N.Y.

Dear Spammer,

For many weeks you have been trying to entice me into some ridiculous Who's Who scam using an email with the Subject line of:

The two words YOUR and YOU’RE sound the same so they are frequently confused. (Indeed, someone once noted that everything wrong with the Web can be summed up in the two-word put-down “Your retarded.”) Although many of us make little slips in grammar once in a while, proclaiming one's illiteracy in the Subject line of an email is particularly gauche.

Let me explain the difference between YOUR and YOU’RE.

The word YOUR is a possessive that indicates ownership, similar to MY or HIS. The word can be used in sentences such as “YOUR face is ugly and YOUR mind is feeble.”

The word YOU’RE is a contraction for YOU ARE. You can use it in sentences such as “YOU’RE not very bright, are you?”

For your email, you have two options. You can use a subject line of

to mean “This scam invitation is for you.” Or you can use a subject line of

to mean “You are invited to our scam.” What you shouldn’t do is use

because that means “I am a hopeless moron with nothing to contribute to the human race.”

Thank you,

Charles Petzold


There there, Charles. Have you taken your meds today ? :-)

— Sven, Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:51:14 -0500

Your right!

— Leonardo Herrera, Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:51:14 -0500

That should be "Have you taken you're meds today? ;)"

Bill, Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:04:54 -0500

Their is no excuse for this rediculous post. Did you loose you're mind or sumthing?

— Robert, Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:34:26 -0500

The subject line is using "invited" as a noun. It's referring to those who have been invited and who belong to you.

Chip Camden, Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:02:41 -0500

Doh! Now you've told them I'll have to re-think my spam rules :o}

— Mike J, Thu, 12 Jan 2012 06:19:57 -0500

Spammers are bitchs !!!! =)

— Sam, Sat, 14 Jan 2012 05:26:11 -0500

Typos make me mad too sometimes. Sometimes I also blow up when I have to read ugly texts wanting to flame the writer, but then I think - what if they are dislectic?

Filip Skakun, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 10:26:52 -0500

Please do one on "its" vs. "it's" too, would you, or is that just too easy?

— Philip the Duck, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:00:20 -0500

Its way too dangerous. — Charles

We need a new comic book hero that hunts down spammers and malware authors and drops them into a smoking volcano.

— Scott Smith, Thu, 9 Feb 2012 12:36:32 -0500

Well, there is always The Oatmeal:

who sums it up in sometimes even less nice words. There are even more of those:

— Johannes, Mon, 27 Feb 2012 03:41:00 -0500

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