I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately addressed: Dear Duff. Just this morning, a student reporter, who said she would be “honored to write a profile on you” started her e-missive with “Dear Duff.” People are being polite, not informal. It’s a common mistake in a place where so many people have the first name of Mohamed, and many take their surnames to identify themselves.
But reading “Dear Duff” puts me in mind of Banquo’s line in MacBeth:
“Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself, and say it is not so.”
To which, my favorite reply would be from Walt Whitman:
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Or, as the spokesman for Duff beer says: “Duffman says a lot of things. Ooh Yeah!”