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I am thin and frail.
Scratching my head can kill me.
When abused, I can also kill you.
Usually, I'm helpful.

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  • $\begingroup$ Usually riddles rhyme. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden Feb 19 '15 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds kind of threatening also. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden Feb 19 '15 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ I was gonna say "a cat", but cats are never helpful. $\endgroup$ – istrasci Feb 19 '15 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @TylerDurden Why must it rhyme? There are plenty of riddles that don't. Even more so when translating riddles from a different language. $\endgroup$ – FreeAsInBeer Feb 20 '15 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ All I know is what I read in The Hobbit. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden Feb 20 '15 at 15:55
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Answer:

You are a match -

My body is thin and frail:

Matches are thin. Wooden matches are easy to snap, paper matches are even easier to bend.

Scratching my head can kill me:

When a match is scratched (on the striker for a safety match or on any dry frictional surface for an old-fashioned light-anywhere match) it burns, after which it is 'dead' - i.e can't be lit again.

When abused, I can also kill you:

We are all taught as children how it is dangerous "to play with matches". Fires can kill...

Usually, I'm helpful:

Of course - helpful for lighting a useful fire, or a cancer stick etc...

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Will this also qualify as an answer?

Pencil

Scratching head can kill me

Sharpening a pencil rescues it length and it becomes useless after a while i.e. dead ... Also a dull pencil is of no use till sharpened again

Abuse

Poking the pencil in wrong place can lead to death

Helpful

Used to express thoughts and ideas ... Transfer knowledge

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  • $\begingroup$ Good lateral thinking :) Could do with some beefing out like the other answer, though. $\endgroup$ – Dewi Morgan Feb 19 '15 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ @dewi added explanation ... @ others I know you are protective of the community, but please don't go down voting because you don't agree ...at least leave a comment to why you down vote $\endgroup$ – user70926 Feb 19 '15 at 7:29
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    $\begingroup$ Strongly agree - commentless downvoting is poor form. $\endgroup$ – Dewi Morgan Feb 19 '15 at 8:34
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    $\begingroup$ "death by pencil seems to be more unlikely" - I guess you didn't see that scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker makes a pencil disappear through a henchmans eye and into his brain ... :) $\endgroup$ – Mashton Feb 19 '15 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ One could also argue that a person in power could abuse their power using a pencil and call for the execution of innocents/you? $\endgroup$ – Elias Feb 19 '15 at 14:44
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The real answer is glaringly obvious:

condom

I am thin and frail.

Ever used a cheap one?

Scratching my head can kill me.

How do you think I got my kid?

When abused, I can also kill you.

How do you think I got my syphilis?

Usually, I'm helpful.

Usually...

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  • $\begingroup$ This has to be the correct answer :) $\endgroup$ – Rohinb97 Feb 20 '15 at 5:41
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, this is a clever answer too. lol $\endgroup$ – Michael Rize Feb 21 '15 at 4:01
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This is my first guess at the answer

Mercury Thermometer

My body is thin and frail:

Glass body is very fragile to being broken from children

Scratching my head can kill me:

Has a head that if scrated would break the glass making it no longer work properly

When abused, I can also kill you:

Mercury poisoning!

Usually, I'm helpful:

Taking temperature for everyone

Let me know what you think

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  • $\begingroup$ That is a good reasoning. I like it! Not the best one, but it is a good answer! Keep up the nice work! $\endgroup$ – Ismael Miguel Feb 19 '15 at 18:15
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My first thought was that you are a:

Video tape

My body is thin and frail:

The tape is very thin.

Scratching my head can kill me:

If you scratch the head in the video player, it can rip the tape.

When abused, I can also kill you:

You could probably pull the tape out and strangle yourself with it if you were really unlucky...

Usually, I'm helpful:

At keeping kids entertained.

I admit that my answer works best for the head-scratching part, the rest of it is a little bit stretched...

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    $\begingroup$ Although I don't think this is the answer, +1 for a creative solution $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Feb 19 '15 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Jon - lol, clearly not the answer - a different one has been accepted already! $\endgroup$ – AndyT Feb 19 '15 at 13:44
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My first thought was

A spider

I am thin and frail.

Most certainly.

Scratching my head can kill me.

From what I gather, if you stroke a spider's head, they "go bald". I presume enough of this can kill them.

When abused, I can also kill you.

Spiders can be deadly.

Usually, I'm helpful.

House spiders are especially helpful at killing house flies.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about the thin and frail part. $\endgroup$ – ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq Mar 18 '15 at 23:38
0
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Is it

A needle

Because-

Sharp tip, if scratched becomes blunt and useless, Thin too
It can kill
It is helpful

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