WHO or WHOM?

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We just don't hear WHOM as much in recent years because it sounds so formal, but there are situations where formality rules, so let's take a look at an easy way to remember which is correct, WHO or WHOM.

The method I teach my students is substitution. If you’re unsure when speaking or writing, if you can substitute as follows:

HE or SHE = WHO
HIM or HER = WHOM

If it sounds correct using HE or SHE, the correct word is WHO.

If it sounds correct using HIM or HER, the correct word is WHOM.

Hint: If the sentence asks a question, just answer it using this replacement to find the proper usage.

EXAMPLES:

WHO/WHOM took the photograph? He or Him took the photograph. He took the photograph. WHO is correct here: Who took the photograph?

The gifts were an incentive for WHO/WHOM? The gifts were an incentive for her. WHOM is correct: The gifts were an incentive for whom?

The essay was written for WHO/WHOM? The essay was written for HIM. WHOM is correct here. The essay was written for WHOM?

If you have a sentence that you can’t solve, put it in a comment here.

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Definitely or Definately?

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The most recent, flagrant misspelling I've seen is the word DEFINITELY, spell incorrectly as DEFINATELY.

We’ll start with a definition because I think that will help you remember how to spell it correctly:

DEFINITE or DEFINITELY = limits, such as finite <Merriam-webster online>.

The etymology (history of a word) shows that it comes from the word FINITE, which will also help you remember how to spell it.

Since you know that FINITE is spelled with an I and not an A, you should have no problems remembering, now, that DEFINTELY is definitely not spelled DEFINATELY.

Using AdWords to drive Competitors’ Traffic to Your Site

Are you an established, well-known sales person or service provider who relies on the Internet for a good deal of your inquiries? If you are, your client base could be in jeopardy. If you’re an up and coming sales person, you’ll want to read this article as much as your well-known competitor.

Recently, I received a call from a local real estate professional; we’ll call her Mary. She’s done business in the area for over 30 years. Mary was concerned because her web hits had dropped substantially in the last couple of months, and she asked me if I could review her website to see if there was a problem. I’m not a web developer, but I’ve written keyword content for Mary’s site, and I’ve known her for years.

After realizing that I didn’t have her URL, I did a Google search for her name, and to my surprise, a different salesperson’s website appeared; we’ll call her Jane. I reviewed Jane’s keywords to see if my client’s name was being used there. No. Then I remembered using Google’s Adwords last year for my own promotion.

AdWords are one of Google’s Internet advertising programs. In this program, you can be in the top list of results when people are actively looking for information about your—-or your competitors’--products and services online. By creating a list of search terms, such as “Mary Smith,” Google’s AdWords will direct traffic to you every time that phrase is searched and clicked on Google. With AdWords' “cost-per-click” pricing, you pay only when people click your ad.

It was immediately clear that Jane was using Mary’s name in her AdWords list. Because Jane’s site appeared at the top, as a paid advertiser, my suspicions were nearly confirmed. A pleasant call to Jane’s webmaster sealed the deal.

If you’re an established salesperson or service provider who is known by name, do yourself a favor and search for your name on Google and Yahoo. If you’re a member of a local board, such as a Board of Realtors, you can report using this type of AdWords advertising as unethical, not that it necessarily is. What do you think? I invite comments.


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What Animal Would You Be?

Lately, I’ve really been feeling like a territorial cat, so I’m certain, if I were an animal in another life, that’s what I would have been.

Not just a house cat, mind you. I would have been a Puma, also known as a mountain lion, sneak cat, deer tiger, Mexican lion, purple feather, mountain screamer, brown tiger, catamount, king cat, silver lion, cougar, mountain demon, Indian devil, and a panther.

Have you ever, just on a whim, decided you didn’t like your name? Well, no problem as a puma; you can pick from a variety of names—today, I feel like an Indian Devil!

My home would span from the tips of Canada to the depths of South America, and what girl doesn’t like a big house—a mansion even?

And what self-respecting woman doesn’t want to change her look occasionally? Hmmm? Tell me you’ve never wanted to color your hair! As a Mountain Screamer, I could be spotted, light gray, various shades of cinnamon to rust-red, light tan or red-brown, or possibly silver-gray. And for an even more sophisticated look, I may have black, mysterious markings around my face and white splatters under my neck. You girls tell me you wouldn’t want that kind of variety.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this girl can get moody, and when I’m feeling mean, nothing could be better than stalking and attacking my prey. Okay, that sounds a bit neurotic, I’ll admit; but as a cat, it’s totally normal, right? As a Sneak Cat, when someone takes my parking place, I’ll have the ability to leap on him from 45-feet away, and don’t even get me started if it’s mating season!

Having twins in this life certainly makes me understand the demands I would have as a Panther. With up to three cubs, I’d have my hands (or paws) full, not to mention I’d be the one hunting for food, while my no-good husband lies around in the shade. Oh, did I mention that I’d be pregnant for only THREE months? What busy woman today wouldn’t love that?

Yes, I’m certain that if I were an animal in another life, I would have been a Purple Feather. What about you? What animal would you be?

This post is dedicated to a Blog Carnival, "What Animal Would You Be." I'll provide a link to all the other animals once the roundup is done.

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Lose and Loose

Writers continue to confuse the words LOSE and LOOSE. How many times have you read this in someone’s blog, forum post, or email: “How can I loose 10 pounds? Am I the only one who needs to talk about this?
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Okay, I don’t know any other way to explain this except to pull out the boring stuff…

  • LOOSE
    is an adjective (it describes nouns—people, places, things, ideas); examples: I have baggy, loose pants. Need some loose pocket change?

  • LOSE
    is a verb (it shows action or a state of being); examples: I need to lose weight. I think I’ll lose my mind.

Look, I don’t sit on the toilet and read the dictionary (okay, I do), but that’s neither here nor there (a future topic)…my point is that I’m not obsessed with grammar, but sometimes I see the same mistake over and over, and I feel it’s a cosmic calling, of sorts, telling me that it’s time
to mention it, somewhere.

For a lighter take on this topic, visit the Queen of Wands.


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