BONUS GRAMMAR TIP

    Dear Frank: You say whomever, I say whoever.

    Normally, when a pronoun is the OBJECT of a verb (transitive) or a
    preposition, the pronoun will be in the OBJECTIVE case. Makes sense,
    right? OBJECT = OBJECTIVE CASE.

    (Nominative-case personal pronuns = I, you, he, she, they.
    Objective-case personal pronounc = me, you, him, her, them.)

    Thus—I [nominative] play with THEM [objective].

    When, however, the object of the preposition is not a single word
    but rather a clause, the clause must be grammatically consistent
    internally.

    Thus—I play with [CLAUSE=whoever wants to].

    In the following example, know is a transitive verb that has a diect
    object, but who [nominative], not whom [objective], is correct,
    since the object of the verb is a clause.

    I know [CLAUSE=who caught the pop fly].

    See diagrammed sentence at right.
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Write Better Right Now (It Could
Save Your Life)
(under revision) by Mary Campbell
Order or download
this beautiful book of poems,
prayers, meditations, songs,
Unfamiliar Territory:
Prayers, Meditations, and Songs,
Vol. 1,
by Mary Campbell
    Se
    What do you BRING TO THE TABLE
    (besides a fork)? Do you lie awake
    COMPONENTIZED? PRODUCTIZED? Do
    you DIALOGUE (or DIALOG) about
    DELIVERABLES? GOING FORWARD, are
    you harvesting LOW-HANGING FRUIT?
    Getting PUSHBACK? DISINCENTIVIZING
    buyers? Or (HOPEFULLY) GAINING
    TRACTION?

    Maybe you need to RAMP UP
    PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT!
    (Better talk about that OFFLINE.) Are
    we talking QUICK WIN or PARADIGM
    SHIFT? What's the TAKE-AWAY? The
    BOTTOM LINE? PEEL THE ONION, pal,
    and LEVERAGE those CORE
    COMPETENCIES.

    John Murphy tweets about language,
    classic games, and economics. All
    views expressed are his dog's.
    MANY UNINSPIRED WRITERS BELIEVE THAT WRITING IS fundamentally
    different from speaking. One of the most strikingly intelligent people
    I've had the pleasure to know—an architect with a warm manner and a
    ready wit—goes into an altered state when he has to write something.
    One minute we’re talking, the next minute we’re disintermediating,
    and it’s all downhill from there. Whatever the topic, it inevitably
    involves harnessing relevant data, addressing critical elements,
    strategizing broad-based solutions, and optimizing tailored
    interactions.

    I’ve wondered if there's a virus—maybe originating in Washington, D. C.
    carried by a mosquito that flies around offices looking for people who
    are about to write something. Maybe these people release an enzyme
    that makes the mosquito think “Dessert!” The virus’s telltale symptom
    is a writing style that you’d expect from someone who was raised by a
    pack of patent attorneys. No one, as far as I know, has died from this
    virus. In any case, I’ve developed a remarkably effective cure....
***
    For writers, the first habit to cultivate might well be curiosity,
    particularly when the question is “What can I do to serve you?” Do you
    know a better way to begin or invigorate a relationship than to hold in
    thought the question “How can I make your life better?”

    Let’s set aside for now the distinctions among types of relationships—
    personal, social, familial, business, professional, and any others that
    are based on roles. The Golden Rule doesn’t stipulate status, age, or
    gender. It doesn’t counsel us to “do unto other English-speaking
    American males above the age of 10 as you would have other English-
    speaking American males above the age of 10 do unto you.”

    ...Seek to serve. It will magically improve your writing, even if you do
    nothing else.
***

    Martin Buber was a prominent
    twentieth-century philosopher,
    religious thinker, political activist and
    educator. Born in Austria, he spent
    most of his life in Germany and
    Israel, writing in German and
    Hebrew. He is best known for his
    1923 book, Ich und Du (I and Thou),
    which distinguishes between “I-Thou”
    and “I-It” modes of existence....

    Buber characterizes “I-Thou”
    relations as “dialogical” and “I-It”
    relations as “monological.” In his
    1929 essay “Dialogue,” Buber explains
    that monologue is not just a turning
    away from the other but also a
    turning back on oneself.... To
    perceive the other as an it is to take
    them as a classified and hence
    predictable and manipulable object
    that exists only as a part of one's own
    experiences. In contrast, in an “I-
    Thou” relation both participants exist
    as polarities of relation, whose center
    lies in the between.

    Source: Internet Encyclopedia of
    Philosophy
***
***

    Excerpt from the introduction to the forthcoming handbook Writing
    for Humans, by Mary Campbell. Click here for a PDF of the full
    introduction.
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Call it jargon, corporate-speak,
academese, buzzword blitz—by
any name, it's lazy at the very
least... it's usually
discourteous... and, at worst,
it's verbal bullying.