It really vexes me that I’m still learning the rudiments of my own language. My schooling was not what you would call a classical education. It was more like a contained riot that lasted 7 years. With petrified teachers sometimes hurling a text book or science experiment in over the shield wall. To justify their existence.
As such, I have been playing catch up ever since.
When it comes down to things like who/whom, the fact is I wasn’t even aware there was a rule and I have just been using intuition to decide which to use given the sentence. Well as bloody usual, it turns out, I’ve been using it wrong sometimes. How many times must this happen!?!?!
OK so here is what I have learned recently:
– use who when the person you are referring to is the subject of the verb.
– use whom when they are the object of the verb.
It’s entirely possible subject/object means nothing to you unless you’ve studied languages. So here’s a quick explanation:
– the subject is the do’er of the verb
– the object is the thing having the verb done to it
So in this sentence, Steve is the subject, and Veronica is the object:
Steve complimented Veronica on her sweater.
So given this rule about who being the subject and whom being the object, here are some examples of how they are used:
– the man who stole my jacket
– the lady whom I encountered on the train
– to whom was the letter addressed?
– who sent this post card to you?
– whom can I talk to about taking out a loan?
– who ate my birthday cake?
– whom did the monster gobble up?
– who did that atrocious fart?
– whom did my amazing fart offend?
– therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
They say that a good litmus test is whether it can be replaced with he/she or him/her.
If it can be replaced with he/she, then use who. If it can be replaced with him/her, then use whom.
As for shrews, I think they’re some kind of miniature nervous mouse. Like a vole with self-esteem issues. One could say:
There’s a shrew whom I bullied and who ought to consider taking up karate.
A typical shrew – see how he squirms at having his photograph taken
A vole asking a wolf for a bare knuckle fight – I rest my case
Regarding shrooms, I think it’s beatnik talk for magic mushrooms(psilocybin), a psychedelic drug I’ve never taken but would like to at some point. Though given my last performance, I’d need to do it in some kind of sound-proofed Hulk container.
Beatniks, causing trouble as usual
Next week, glue and gloom, loo and loom, zoo and zoom, boo and boom.
If you found this article helpful then send me whisky and cigarettes as a matter of urgency.
p.s. if you spot that I’ve used who/whom incorrectly here, then by all means leave a comment below please!
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