The Write Stuff
June 2015 Volume 11 Issue 6
Who’s on First?
Surely some of you recall the Abbott and Costello comedy routine that featured the question in the headline. The levity came because the name of the first baseman was “Who,” so as Abbott identifies the players on a baseball team, Costello keeps thinking he’s asking him a question (Who’s on first?) rather than stating a fact (Who’s on first.).
While not as funny (actually, not funny at all), people often have issues with when to use who, who’s, whose and whom. Thanks to Pete Lepiscopo for suggesting this topic. Here we go!
Who: This pronoun is most commonly used to answer the question, “what person or persons.” Example: Who is going to Ecuador on the 21st for three weeks? (my niece Jenna)
Who’s: This is the contraction of who is or who has. Example: Who’s coming to San Diego later this month? (my sister Laura, brother-in-law Paul and nephew Gabe)
Whom: This is also a pronoun, the objective case of who. Example: With whom will I soon be visiting In-N-Out Burger? (Gabe)
Whose: Another pronoun, it’s the possessive case of who used as an adjective or the one or ones belonging to a person. Example: Whose graduation did I attend last week? (Gabe)
Tip: If you’re stumped about whether to use who or whom, replace the pronoun with he/she or him/her. If the former is appropriate, use who; if the latter works, use whom. For instance, “She is going to Ecuador” and “I will be visiting In-N-Out Burger with him.”
Name Before Long Title?
What do you think reads better: Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Smith or John Smith, Vice President of Sales and Marketing? I vote for the latter, since the most important detail (the name) is front and center instead of buried at the end of a long title.
Less is always more when writing, so including extra words that add no value just doesn’t make sense to me. For instance, why use “first ever”? Isn’t “first” enough? You invented the first app of its kind. It’s the first time you’ve done this. Enough said. “Ever” is just not necessary.
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