Friday, September 26, 2008

grammar

(Do) You know bothers me? Grammar. And (don't start sentences with 'and') (do) you know why? Because (don't start sentences with 'because') I notice exactly when I use incorrect grammar (use grammar incorrectly?). Most of the time I don't correct myself. Because (there we go again) if I walked around saying whom every time it was (were) grammatically correct, I would sound like I was (were) trying to be smarter than you. Who (whom) am I trying to impress? No one. Sure, I'll write correctly in an academic paper, because the audience I'm writing for (for whom I'm writing) just might care. But (don't start sentences with 'but') you guys don't really care, do you?

Here's the deal. I teach English. But I don't teach perfect English. My students need to know how to talk to their bosses, how to communicate with the doctor, how to talk to their kids' teachers. They don't need to know how to use whom. I mean, come on--how many of you actually use whom correctly all the time? Or ever? How many of you even know when to use whom? I rest my case.

Want to know what spurred this post? The fact that there are a couple titles on my side bar that should technically use whom, but I refuse to use it. So sue me.

8 comments:

mer said...

Ha! This made me laugh. I'm obsessed with grammar too and I never correct myself (on my blog at least)! I know I should use "whom" but never do. I always start sentences with "And" and "But." I know that the word "ones" doesn't exist. I know the difference between laying and lying, but I know I misuse them.

What to do?

Ashley said...

What bothers me the most about my blog writing is that I end sentences with prepositions. This post is coincidental bc I just heard the rule for who/whom on the radio today: Use who if it refers to the person doing the action, e.g., Who is going to Target? Use whom if it refers to a person being acted upon, e.g., For whom are you buying that icy cold Diet Coke? I think we should ditch whom altogether.

Molly said...

Exactly. Easiest way by far to remember when to use "who" versus "whom" is that you use "who" when in instances when you could be referring to he/she and whom in instances when you could be referring to him/her. "Whom" and "him" both end with m. I just remember the m's.

Who called? He called.

Whom did you call? I called him.

Amy Carter said...

i don't think i like the phrase 'so shoot me.' it's kind of scary when it's written down.

Molly said...

Amy--I agree! I wrote it and thought it looked really weird written down. "So sue me" looks much better written down. And spoken now that I think about it.

Chris said...

Whom are you kidding?Not meem, I hope. That would make me "whom" Ashley wants to ditch. You could also easily get your "but" off the beginning of a sentence with a comma. Also( as a substitute for and, and against whom are less restrictions), you might relay to Mer that to lie once about knowing the difference between laying and lying could make her un(once)reliable. By the way,(that's a comma) the easiest way to remember the rule for when to use "who" and "whom" is to simply recognize which should be in the subjective case, and which should be in the objective case.("her" ends in an R, but I wouldn't use that as a comparitive reference for the application of the use of who and whom e.g. Whor did you call? I called her?)
Jo Daddy

Molly said...

Dad--you are too funny. Whor did you call? I certainly hope not!

Kerri said...

This probably qualifies as my favorite post--and comments--of all time.