Category: Pronouns

Whoever Would Use Whomever: Read On

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 11:31 pm

Two weeks ago we discussed Americans’ odd fondness for whom. It’s a word that few really understand, but it just sounds so darned cosmopolitan. If we’re infatuated with whom, we’re over the moon about whomever. You hear it everywhere. People love saying it—right or wrong. Just recently, a major American newspaper ran a headline that said “… whomever …

Read More

Whom Abuse Is Rampant

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at 9:17 am

To continue our series on who, whom, whoever, and whomever, today we bring you a Tom Stern classic from September 2013. Consider the humble pronoun. It seems that fewer and fewer Americans know when to say “she” or “he” or “me” instead of “her,” “him,” or “I.” It used to be that little Gloria would run home and …

Read More

Sentence Subjects: Looking Past Nouns and Strict Verb Agreement

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 12:58 am

Sentence subjects are typically obvious in English grammar. Many are nouns, and they take corresponding plural or singular verbs. How then do we identify and explain the parts of speech in the following sentences? 1. Buying houses and flipping them has been netting him a small fortune. 2. To be alone is to find true …

Read More

Commonly Confused Words That Bring Bumps to Writing

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 9:07 am

The English language—its words, its structure, its stylistic possibilities—is rich, descriptive, and versatile. It can communicate with precision and convey vivid, persuasive thoughts and ideas. At times, it can also confuse. Those not familiar with the nuanced or multiple meanings of many English words and the finer points of grammar can sometimes trip where they’re …

Read More

Reflexive Pronouns

Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at 12:59 pm

Loyal reader Bill P. and others have written in commenting on what seems to be a growing misuse of words known as reflexive pronouns. Have you either heard or seen in writing a sentence like this, “Please give it to John or myself”? Is that right or wrong? Let’s have a look. Rule: Reflexive pronouns—myself, himself, herself, …

Read More

1 2 3 9