Forgive this bit of indulgence in a pet peeve (though this is a blog, after all), but I receive a ridiculous number of email pitches lately that begin with personalized messages — from people who I don't know.

"Hey, B.," one began.

"Hey Brian, How's it going?" said another.

This is a relatively recent trend, presumably designed to lure journalists into entertaining a pitch before they realize it. I'm waiting for one that starts out, "Hey, how's the family? We should really get together for dinner soon. You haven't called in awhile. Anyway, I was wondering if you'd be interested in talking to one of the executives at Gurgle-tech about the latest gizmo that's going to revolutionize TV…."

So hey, flacks, here's a friendly suggestion from your old pal: If you don't know me, don't pretend like you do. This may come as a surprise, but I gave up on imaginary friends several years ago, and acting like we're bosom buddies when we're not doesn't do anything except make it that much more likely that I will hit "delete" before bothering to read your email.

Anyway, thanks for listening. And be sure to give my best to, you know, whoever.

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