Charles Petzold

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