Our dear Darryl from the Daily Post wrote one of his very handy odes to grammar and today Darryl chose to highlight the when and why we use who as opposed to whom. He broke it down and explained it very well, I thought so while I was reading his post. I like the way he explains all things grammatical, he is very clear when explaining the in and outs of English grammar. Now that I am typing away about to write about how I use who versus whom in my own writing, I am remembering the rules that Darryl noted to help you utilize the right form and it is straightforward. When the noun is the subject you use who, whereas when the noun is the object, that is when you use whom. The example he used explains it better than my muddling about, The boy who ate his shoe had a bad case of indigestion. The boy is the subject, hence who.
The boy, to whom I gave the Pepto Bismol, felt much better afterwards. The boy is the object because the Pepto was given to him.
These two examples will, I believe, stick in my mind for future writing purposes. I have to admit that in the grand scheme of writing the who/whom debate wouldn’t make my top ten of grammatical issues. Whom usually rears its ugly head verbally, maybe because the emphasis on the “m” makes the whole phrase sound more distinctive, more elegant, if you will I don’t know.
I will be interested to see if my two friends who pay attention to grammar, have pet peeves about when to use who or whom. I trust and respect their knowledge of grammar, I more or less agree with Darryl, that in the wide world of grammatical mistakes, the slip ups with who and whom is not as grating as the slip up between the proper usage of Me or I. That really grates when the wrong one is used.
I have to say that I am tired and this is me, forcing myself to write at 10:44 at night, so I apologize if this is dry, lame or stinky. Writing is a discipline and so, even though after doing a round trip drive to Boston, I feel that I owe it to myself to write. I am getting clearer and clearer everyday that I write, this is what I want to do when I grow up. I don’t mind doing the daily work, it might not be great writing but it is practice writing, so it counts. I am now going to stop and lay me down to sleep.