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WHO or WHOM? A 90% Trick
Self | 30APR03 | bannie

Posted on 04/30/2003 6:15:29 PM PDT by bannie

In a recent thread, we discussed teachers' various abilities/inabilities. With the banter about math "blocks," I had to start calling people on the frequent mis-usage of the pronoun "that."

I teased others--and I hope the understood my playful intent! Even true mathematicians can make simple mistakes in math. Likewise, even true grammarians can make simple mistakes in grammar. I only made note because of the subject of the thread (An English teacher who was having trouble passing a required math test).

In the thread, I mentioned that I could give a quick-fix lesson on how to determine whether one should use the pronoun "who" or the pronoun "whom."

The Rule:
WHO = SUBJECTIVE
WHOM = OBJECTIVE
or...
While "who" holds the grammatical position of a SUBJECT, "whom" holds the grammatical position of an OBJECT.
Subject = the "doer." Object = the DIRECT OBJECT or the INDIRECT OBJECT or the OBJECT of a preposition...the "do-ee."

THE TRICK:

IF replacing the who/whom in question with HE--simply because it SOUNDS BETTER--use WHO.

IF replacing the who/whom in question with HIM--simply because it SOUNDS BETTER--use WHOM.

IE:
With the question:

To who/whom should I give the "Offed by a Clinton" Award?

Try replacing the space with each, "he" and "him."
Although it's not totally "sensical," the better sounding choice is...

To HIM should I give...

(more clearly, Should I give the "Offed by a Clinton" award to HIM?
SOOOOOooooo...since "HIM" = "WHOM,"

the correct "who/whom-ness" of the question should be:

To WHOM should I give...?

IE:
Who/Whom was the oldest goat in the pool?

Try replacing the space with each, "he" and "him."

It makes much more sense to the ear to replace the who/whom with:

He was the oldest...

than with:

Him was the oldest...

SOOOOOoooooo....since "HE" = "WHO"...

The answer is...WHO was the oldest goat in the pool?


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: grammar
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To: bannie
My kids say "This kid said..." I say, "this guy or that guy?" They don't like this business. We also go at it with "He went..." "He went where? To the store? To the bathroom?"

Eminem blew it for my with "...between you and I, females lie."
I don't disagree with the sentiment, but his grammar fails.

This thread is classic FR.
151 posted on 04/30/2003 8:27:13 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma
While we're on this kind of thing,
does anyone know the code to remember the planets?

Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Sit
Up Nights Periodically !

Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn
Uranus Neptune and Pluto !

.....THUNDER......

152 posted on 04/30/2003 8:30:14 PM PDT by THUNDER ROAD
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To: All
OK, here's another one that makes me crazy, and lots of a lot of many educated folks do it - using an apostrophe in the possesive form of "it".

it is = it's
belonging to it = its

I believe it's the only possesive form that doesn't use an apostophe.

153 posted on 04/30/2003 8:30:47 PM PDT by T Minus Four
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
The effect of hard drugs will affect your health.
154 posted on 04/30/2003 8:31:35 PM PDT by paix
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To: bannie
Any tricks with pronouns, I,me, he, she, him, her.
155 posted on 04/30/2003 8:32:43 PM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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To: bannie
You don't have to tell me. I know how it works. The shock is seeing all the college educated professionals and broadcast journalists screwing it up.
156 posted on 04/30/2003 8:34:21 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: pipecorp
lie/lay

"Lay" is a transitive verb...it needs an OBJECT

"Lie" is an intransitive verb..it nees no OBJECT.

Lay it down. ("It" is an object.)

Lie still. ("Still" is just an adverb describing the verb "lie.")(Of course, the subject of both of these is "you understood.")

"transitive" means that it carries the subject across to an object..."TRANS" (across)...The subject does something TO something. While, with "intransative" means the subject can do something without doing it TO something/someone else.

I hope that one was clear.

157 posted on 04/30/2003 8:34:42 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: bannie
Well done, and I hope that everyone who reads it remembers and uses it! (Now, to get people not to write "loose" when they mean "lose"...)
158 posted on 04/30/2003 8:35:14 PM PDT by jejones
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To: Freedom4US
That's the mnemonic to recall the standard Resistor Code

Haven't scrolled down and someone may have done this, but you forgot: "....willingly, Get Some Now." G,S,N for Gold, Silver, None for the precision bands.

159 posted on 04/30/2003 8:35:17 PM PDT by j_tull (Keep the Shiny Side UP!)
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To: bannie
I'm not even going to use those words around you!! LOL
160 posted on 04/30/2003 8:37:04 PM PDT by potlatch
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To: CharacterCounts
OK...it might be better to turn questions into declarative statements, because the nominative/accusative distinction is the same. Which looks right, "You trust he" or "You trust him"? The latter (I hope :), so it's "Whom do you trust?"
161 posted on 04/30/2003 8:37:47 PM PDT by jejones
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To: bannie
I think the confusion with lie/lay is introduced with the past tense, where lie becomes lay.
162 posted on 04/30/2003 8:38:48 PM PDT by Fifth Business
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To: bannie
A "bad button" for me is hearing, "Good" as a reply to, "How are you?".
163 posted on 04/30/2003 8:39:14 PM PDT by Spirited
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To: yankeedame
I before E except after C

That's not the whole rule. The whole rule is "I before E except after C, when the sound is 'EE'".

When the sound is not 'EE', the rule does not apply. Also there are a few exceptions, the commonest of which is "seize".

Personally, I get upset when people use words the meanings of which they clearly neither understand nor can be bothered to look up.

For example: the use of "ironically" to mean "co-incidentally"; of "only" to mean "few" (as in "he was one of the only men to survive the attack"); of "unique" to mean "rare" (as opposed to "the only one of its kind"), or of "disinterested" to mean "uninterested".

And don't get me started on the confusion between "its" (belonging to it) and "it's" ("it is" or "it has").

164 posted on 04/30/2003 8:39:56 PM PDT by derlauerer (Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain)
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To: Tulsa Brian
will and shall

AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE, "will" is not as absolute as "shall."

I SHALL, however, research this one further: There must be more to it...such as the auxillary verb thing. Offhand, I'm not thinking of all of the rules for this. Great question.

:-)

165 posted on 04/30/2003 8:40:02 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: bannie
What was a goat doing in the cement pond?
166 posted on 04/30/2003 8:41:08 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: bannie
AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE, "will" is not as absolute as "shall."

If I recall correctly, it depends on the person. I shall becomes I will for emphasis, whereas he will becomes he shall for emphasis.

167 posted on 04/30/2003 8:43:22 PM PDT by Fifth Business
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To: bannie
ok, ok now i understand about he and him - what about she and her
168 posted on 04/30/2003 8:43:26 PM PDT by ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
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To: T Minus Four
LOLOL

Gosh, I wish I could get the hang of posting pictures...

BTW, when I was little my mother taught me this one:

To determine if a word is a preposition, fill in the blank:

A bird flew ________ a cloud.

If it makes even a little sense, the word is a preposition, and therefore no sentence should ever end with it. (A sentence ending in a preposition is something up with which she would not put...)

Regards,
169 posted on 04/30/2003 8:43:35 PM PDT by VermiciousKnid
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
affect/effect

EFFECT is a noun. ("It has an effect on me.")

AFFECT is a verb. ("This affect us all adversely.")

170 posted on 04/30/2003 8:43:57 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: gcruse
Yes, along with the use of "they" when one is afraid to use the neutral "he" and related constructions. For example, What parent doesn't want THEIR child to succeed? We used to be quite comfortable saying What parent doesn't want his child to succeed, knowing perfectly well that half of parents are women. In the 70s and 80s there was some usage of a gender revolutionary nature, militantly using she and her in place of he and his, etc. A good teacher knows HER students. Oh well.... if this is the greatest of our worries we are not in too bad shape.
171 posted on 04/30/2003 8:46:00 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Tulsa Brian
Well... I don't know whether the distinction that I was given in school was ever really used. In school I was told that "will" is simple future, but "shall" indicates intent. (I vaguely recall even being told that the distinction depended in part on first person versus second and third, so that for second and third person it's the other way around!) Etymologically, this makes no sense, because "will" is cognate to Dutch and German "willen," to want (e.g. "Ik wil een kopje koffie kopen," "I want to buy a cup of coffee."), so "will" ought to indicate intent.


It does at least give rise to a bad joke. Q: how can you tell which of two drowning English teachers is committing suicide? A: The suicide cries out "I shall drown; no one will save me!" while the victim cries out "I will drown; no one shall save me!" (Miss Methvin, wherever you are, I'm sorry...)
172 posted on 04/30/2003 8:46:46 PM PDT by jejones
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To: CharacterCounts
Turn the sentence around a bit, and it becomes clear:
Do you trust HE?
vs.
Do you trust HIM?
173 posted on 04/30/2003 8:47:17 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: bannie
Now if you could only teach half the posters the difference between 'lose' and 'loose'...
174 posted on 04/30/2003 8:47:30 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Erasmus
You knew it was nickEL, right?
175 posted on 04/30/2003 8:48:01 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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So The Who blew it?
176 posted on 04/30/2003 8:48:20 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: TaxRelief
Who affects the Who's effects?

Little Cindy-lou Who, that's who.

Who dissects the Who's diced eggs?

177 posted on 04/30/2003 8:49:43 PM PDT by Huber
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
"Affect" is a verb (outside of a relatively obscure psychology usage); "effect" is a noun (OK...it can be used as a verb, e.g. "to effect a drastic change"). For example: Kryptonite doesn't affect Earthlings; it has no effect on them.
178 posted on 04/30/2003 8:50:00 PM PDT by jejones
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
Here is my stab and affect/effect. Generally, affect is used as a verb, and effect is a noun. The only frequent use of effect as a verb is in the expression "to effect a change" or the like.
179 posted on 04/30/2003 8:50:01 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Spirited
"...Good" as a reply to, "How are you?".

It's funny the looks I sometimes get when my answer is, "I am well, thanks."

180 posted on 04/30/2003 8:51:28 PM PDT by j_tull (Keep the Shiny Side UP!)
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To: Old Professer
A goat is not a whom or a him, sorry.

HAHAHAHA! My "goat" was a human Democrat. :-)

A messy person can be called a "pig" and be without a curly tail and a snout: A dirty old fool can be called a "goat" and be without horns and a hairy back.

My goat was a who/whom and a he/him.

181 posted on 04/30/2003 8:51:29 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: Erasmus
I bow to your wisdom.

:-)

182 posted on 04/30/2003 8:52:36 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: Ditter
Who is this "noone" guy I keep hearing about. example: I went to the door but noone was there.

I think he was the lead singer for Herman's Hermits.... :)

183 posted on 04/30/2003 8:52:54 PM PDT by jejones
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To: NCLaw441
I've gotten away from using 'he' as default, too. Some of feminism is right.
184 posted on 04/30/2003 8:53:03 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: derlauerer
Personally, I get upset when people use words the meanings of which they clearly neither understand nor can be bothered to look up.

My personal pet peeve is when people use the word litterally when they should be using figuratively.

185 posted on 04/30/2003 8:53:33 PM PDT by CharacterCounts
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To: Senator Pardek
Isn't it "they" who are doing the reminding? And isn't the proper usage "whom" as the object of the preposition of?
186 posted on 04/30/2003 8:53:36 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Aw, c'mon Diddle! You well know that most of us do that on purpose!
187 posted on 04/30/2003 8:54:38 PM PDT by j_tull (Keep the Shiny Side UP!)
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To: VermiciousKnid
A bird flew ________ a cloud

Oh, that's good. I usually know when it's right or wrong, I just forget WHY! Now I can help explain it better to my 5th grader.

see my post #125 :-)

188 posted on 04/30/2003 8:54:52 PM PDT by T Minus Four
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To: Revolting cat!
The rule is simple: it's the Who, not the Whom whom once wrote "Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)"

OY!!! All I got out of this is the error: "...not the Whom WHO once wrote..."

189 posted on 04/30/2003 8:55:14 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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To: bannie
One of my main pet peeves is the it's/its apostrophe issue.

You see it wrong everywhere.

I found this little ditty years ago, and had misplaced it till now.

"The possessive of it is just its
But its usage gives people the fits
They expect to see
An apostrophe
But you shorten it is when it's it's."

(Was written by someone named Robert Bagby.)
190 posted on 04/30/2003 8:55:25 PM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: Senator Pardek
Yes, but we're talking about the object of the preposition "of"; "they" is the subject of remind. So it really is "Whom do they remind you of?" If you give in to the arrant nonsense up with which Winston Churchill would not put and recast it as "Of whom do they remind you?" perhaps it is clearer that "whom" is called for. Also, the advice of the original post still holds. English speakers wouldn't say "Do they remind you of I?"
191 posted on 04/30/2003 8:58:10 PM PDT by jejones
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To: CharacterCounts
My personal pet peeve is when people use the word litterally when they should be using figuratively

Oh, I could just literally DIE when people do that!

192 posted on 04/30/2003 8:59:38 PM PDT by T Minus Four
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To: openotherend
Well...after one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer, one might well make grammatical mistakes. :)
193 posted on 04/30/2003 9:00:56 PM PDT by jejones
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To: VermiciousKnid
Let me see if I understand. (A bird flew understand a cloud.) It is wrong to say "I am relieved that this flight is finally over." because "A bird flew over a cloud" makes sense? (A bird flew sense a cloud.)
194 posted on 04/30/2003 9:02:10 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: CharacterCounts
It's even worse when they use litterally instead of literally.
195 posted on 04/30/2003 9:03:03 PM PDT by CharacterCounts
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To: NCLaw441
I find that the affect/effect problem is the most difficult, even for those of us who are otherwise pretty good with the King's English.

Anybody remember sentence diagramming? I used to love doing them; they were like puzzles to me. Too bad they don't teach it anymore.

Regards,
196 posted on 04/30/2003 9:03:24 PM PDT by VermiciousKnid
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To: CharacterCounts
go figgure :-)
197 posted on 04/30/2003 9:03:54 PM PDT by T Minus Four
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To: gcruse
I can live with the situational use of "her" or "she" depending on context much easier than the evasive "they" and "their" construction.
198 posted on 04/30/2003 9:05:40 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: derlauerer
For example: the use of "ironically" to mean "co-incidentally"; of "only" to mean "few" (as in "he was one of the only men to survive the attack"); of "unique" to mean "rare" (as opposed to "the only one of its kind"), or of "disinterested" to mean "uninterested".

Some of my pet peeves--"decimated" to mean "completely destroyed," "penultimate" to mean "apex," and "presently" to mean "at present."

And then there's the use of an ellipsis where a dash, comma, or semi-colon should be used.

199 posted on 04/30/2003 9:06:19 PM PDT by Fifth Business
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To: doug from upland
Credit should be extended to Freeper "Ditter." He made a query.

:D

200 posted on 04/30/2003 9:07:04 PM PDT by bannie (Carrying the burdon of being a poor speller--mixed with the curse of verbosity)
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