Overnight, someone named Darrin sent me an e-mail with no message in the body. The subject line simply read:

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Your a tool.

I thought I would write back:

Hi Darrin,

Actually, it's "You're a tool." You meant "You are a tool," and so that is contracted into "You're." That's why we call them contractions. It would be like if I wrote "Im a tool," instead of "I'm a tool." Get it?

In any case, thanks for your in-depth criticisms. I don't know exactly what you're referring to—did you not like my book review from a few weeks ago about how the American economy could learn a lot from Jay-Z?—but thanks to your e-mail, I know two things about you:

1. You believe that brevity is the soul of wit.
2. You don't know how to use contractions.

In any case, I will take it under advisement, whatever "it" is.

Hi-ho,
Paul Bobby Constant

Darrin wrote back! (The correspondence continues after the jump.)

I’m sure you think yourself to be very clever.

You are correct. It is “you’re” instead of “your”. I didn’t realize I was back in grade school.

Thank you for solidifying the fact that you are a tool.

And I wrote him back, because we're pen pals now.

There you go! You're a natural at contractions! If I do nothing else today, I know that I have taught something to another human being. That makes it all worthwhile. Thank you!

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Maybe next we can work on your argument skills; I have no idea what you're writing about, except that you are very interested in my solidifying tool. What makes me a tool? How can I learn if you don't teach me?

Thanks,
Paul

That was at 11:20. I haven't heard anything else from Darrin. In retrospect, I think he might have been referring to this feature.

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