Darryl picked up the phone on the fifth ring. It was his land line. Nobody called him on his land line anymore.
"Hello?" he said, a little perturbed with himself for not answering more quickly.
"Hey," said a familiar voice on the other end of the line. It was his friend, Julie. "I just finished your manuscript."
"Yeah?" Darryl asked. Julie had agreed to read his manuscript before he published it as an eBook.
"I like the story, but I wanted to go over a couple things."
"First of all, it's a couple of things," she said.
"You wrote 'a couple things' over and over again," she explained. "The expression is a couple of things."
"Oh," Darryl said, not understanding at all.
"And you usually listed more than a couple."
"A couple is two. It's a specific number. You can't write, 'I'm going to tell you a couple things' and then list six items."
"Oh." Darryl wondered if perhaps this conversation wasn't going well.
"And could of is not a contraction of could have."
Darryl was silent.
"Do you even write?" Julie demanded. "Do you even know the difference between there, their, and they're? Or two, too, and to?" This wasn't exactly fair of her since they sounded the same over the phone, but before Darryl could say anything, she went on.
"For crying out loud, Darryl," she exclaimed. "They have English classes you can take at the Community College! If you can't afford it, just publish this book as is and start a Kickstarter campaign -- I'm sure you'll raise the tuition money in no time!"
Julie finished her tirade, and for a moment there was no sound but the sound of her catching her breath. After several long, awkard minutes, Darryl broke the silence.
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