Grammar Bomb: Who VS Whom

When Moffat writes a new script and delivers it on Doctor Who—we know from whom it comes, but who has to memorize it first?



Who [THINK: Subject performs actions | Doctor Who]
Whom [THINK: Object acted on | movie (M)]


Who is a subjective-case pronoun, meaning it functions as a subject in a sentence…”

Who, like I, he, she, and they, performs actions, as in Who rescued the dog? (who is doing the rescuing in this sentence).”

“…whom is an objective-case pronoun, meaning it functions as an object in a sentence.”

Whom, like me, him, her, and them, is acted on, as in Whom did you see? (whom is being seen here, not doing the seeing). Whom more commonly appears when it follows a preposition, as in the salutation To Whom it may concern (Does it concern he? No. Does it concern him? Yes.) or in the title of Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

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Hear MY WRITING roar!!!!

[found on; by Rachelle Gardner]

“Those Annoying Exclamation Points!!!

By Rachelle Gardner on Jul 01, 2013 09:34 pm

Exclamation point

Over many years of editing books, it seems I have become a heartless eliminator of exclamation points!!! Seriously, I developed a hatred for them! People tend to WAY overuse them! Not to mention italics and bold, and that oh-so-effective use of ALL CAPS!!!!!!!

Here’s a hint to avoid coming across as amateur: Use the above devices sparingly in any writing intended for publication. (I’m being specific here, because in blog writing and emails, you’re free to go crazy. I do.)

If you tend to use a plethora of exclamation points, do a search-and-replace in your manuscript and put a period in place of every single one of them. Yep, every one. Then you can go back and add an exclamation point here and there if you really must. But I’m not kidding: VERY . . . SPARINGLY.

Same with other means of artificial emphasis: italics and ALL CAPS. Your writing should be so effective by itself that the emphasis isn’t necessary.

As for bold, don’t ever use it in running text! (It’s OKAY for headers!)

Isn’t THIS irritating??!!”

[found on]

Name that Character!

[found on]

“There are a plethora of movie character names that become everlasting brands in American culture: Rocky, Yoda, Forrest Gump, and Shrek to name a few. And when it comes to naming characters, you want to choose wisely, which is no easy task.

Literature: Lennie Small: the mentally disabled but physically strong protagonist in John Steinbeck’s 1937 novella Of Mice and Men.

Drama: Willy Loman: the elderly salesman lost in false hopes and illusions in Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman.

Film: “The Dude”: the unemployed L.A. slacker and avid bowler in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 film The Big Lebowski.

Steinbeck’s Lennie is a gentle giant who is “Small” of mind, with a simple dream of tending rabbits. Miller’s “Loman” sounds no different than “Low man”, which is exactly what Willy is – “a dime a dozen” and “not a leader of men”. And the Coen Brothers’ “The Dude” is, as The Stranger explains, “The man for his time and place.”

Choosing the right name for a character is key. It should be unique and memorable to the story, yet not trying too hard to stand out. Each character name you choose should also reveal something about that character: who he is, where she come from, when he was born, how she was affected, why he likes or dislikes it.

There’s a lot in a name, and the perfect name can make a world of difference, so here are some helpful tips – the Top Ten Dos and Don’ts – in naming characters.


Tip 1: That Reflect Personality

Choose names that help to illustrate a character’s personality.  Is your character a hero, and if so, what kind: The Professional (Han Solo – Star Wars), The Warrior (Blade – Blade), or The Fool (Captain Jack Sparrow –Pirates of the Caribbean)? And if she’s your villain, what role does she play: The Seducer (Laure Ash – Femme Fatale), The Destroyer (Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty), or The Psychopath (Jigsaw – Sawseries)? Work hard to find a name that reflects the disposition or temperament of the character.

Tip 2: Choose a Name by Meaning

Selecting a name that reflects or symbolizes a character’s role in the story can add subtext to the character. For example, if a character in your action-adventure screenplay is a wise man, mentor, or guide to your protagonist, you might want to consider naming her Sage. And to add even more meaning to the character, you might consider making her a botanist – sagebrush of course being an aromatic plant used as a culinary herb or burned as an incense. Even if you decide not to name a character by meaning, it is wise to look up the literal meaning of all the names of your characters. Knowledge is power, and you never know when a new nugget of information may inspire you.

Tip 3: Make the Name Age-Appropriate

Many writers make the mistake of choosing a name they like because it’s popular now, but the name would have rarely been used at or around the time of the character’s birth. You might love the more contemporary girl names such as Madison, Chloe, or Riley, but if your character is an 80-year-old socialite who grew up among the plantations of the South during the Great Depression, you must choose a name that would have been common during the time of her birth: Virginia, Dolores, or Evelyn, for example. If your character was born in the U.S., browse the Social Security Name Popularity List for that year. And be smart to take into account the character’s cultural and ethnic background as well.

Tip 4: That Combine Common & Unusual

Creating unique and interesting names is one thing, but trying too hard to be memorable or exotic is usually a mistake -unless you’re writing a romance novel (Trent Jasper), soap opera (Logan Hawk), or porno (Seymore Butts). Names like these sound silly, out of place, or just plain forced. A good trick that helps to create a nice balance is to combine common first names with unusual last names (Edward Scissorhands) or unusual first names with common last names (Indiana Jones).

Tip 5: That Fit the World/Period

If you’re writing a historical period piece that takes place during The Spanish Inquisition of 1478, let research be your guide. Investigate the era to find out what names were common during the time, and if your characters have a specific ethnic background, it’s your duty to find out authentic names from that ethnic group. If, however, your story takes place in a fantasy world or somewhere in the future, you still must create names that are believable for the world of the story. If the world is separate from Earth, avoid names that are too closely associated with Earth. If your story is dominated by war, the names you create should reflect images of “strength”, “survival”, and the “warrior” mentality. On the flip side, however, if your characters live in peace and tranquility, their names should be reflective of their environment.


Tip 6: That Are Too Long

So you’re writing a new sci-fi/fantasy feature, and you’ve decided on what you think is an absolutely amazing name for your main protagonist: Archimedes. Considering your hero is a mathematician in this futuristic world, you have applied Tip #2 appropriately. Archimedes was a Greek mathematician c. 287-212 BC. However, when you start writing, not only does it become labor intensive to type the ten-letter name so many times, but it also takes up valuable white space. Solution: use short character names. But this doesn’t mean you have to lose the Archimedes name. Maybe his friends call him “Archie” or even better “A”. There is a reason that Indiana Jones is referred to as Indie throughout Lawrence Kasdan’s script. Short and simple.

Tip 7: That Sound the Same

Have you ever come across that family in which every child’s name starts with the same letter: Jacob, John, Jackie, Jessica, Jeff, Jennifer, and so on. If it’s annoying in real life, imagine the frustration your reader will have when the same naming strategy is applied to a script. It’s distracting and confusing, no matter how distinctly different the character personalities, actions, and reactions are. Another similar pitfall is to use character names that – even if starting with different letters – still sound very much alike, such as Greg and Craig.

Tip 8: That Are Too Weird

Many writers are so focused on giving a character an unusual or memorable name that the end product becomes something more distracting than complimentary to the character or the world of the story. When a character’s name is too weird, it tends to jolt the reader and pull him or her out of the story. The only exception is in sci-fi/fantasy, in which names like Deckard (Blade Runner), Korben (The Fifth Element), and Riddick (Pitch Black) work flawlessly. But can you imagine Riddick throwing a fastball to Deckard, who throws out Korben trying to steal second?

Tip 9: That Use Cute Spellings

There are few things more annoying to a reader than cute little “creative” spellings of a common, ordinary name. Trust me, readers do not find it cute to struggle through the traditional spelling of Chris as Khryss or Dewayne as Dee-Way-N. Just write CHRIS and DEWAYNE, and be done with it.

Tip 10: That End with the Letter S

This may sound like a trivial tip, but sometimes the most banal advice is the most valuable. As the writer, part of your job is to make it as easy on the reader as possible, and if you have character names ending in the letter S, you (as well as your reader) will have a difficult time with the possessive form of that name. Make it simple. No name ending in S = possessive ‘s every time.”

[found on]

Blogging Legalities for Writers

[found on]
“Regardless of the type of blog you write or the size of your blog audience, there are legal issues all bloggers need to understand and follow. These legal issues are in addition to the blogging rules that bloggers should follow if they want to be accepted into the blogging community and have a chance for their blogs to grow.
If your blog is public and you don’t want to get into legal trouble, then you need to keep reading and learn about the legal issues for bloggers listed below. Ignorance isn’t a viable defense in a court of law. The onus is on the blogger to learn and follow laws related to online publishing. Therefore, follow the suggestions listed below, and always check with an attorney if you’re not sure if it’s legal to publish specific content or not. When in doubt, don’t publish it.”  
For more information on the legalities of blogging, see the link below.
 [found on]

Affect an Effect…What?

[found on]
“The misuse of the words “affect” and “effect” is such an epidemic that some folks are considering assembling regional support groups to deal with the problem. But while the words are often used incorrectly, deciding whether to use affect or effect isn’t as tough to as you may think.
Let me explain.
Affect is generally used as a verb: A affects B. 
The eye-patch affected my vision. 
In this sentence, the eye-patch (A) influenced my vision (B).
Effect, on the other hand, is almost exclusively used as a noun: (A) had an effect on (B). 
Acting like a pirate has had a negative effect on my social life.
So the basic rule of thumb is that affect is almost always a verb and effect is usually a noun.
There are deviations from this, but when in doubt, stick to the rule.
If you need help remembering, think of this mnemonic device: The action is affect, the end result is effect.

[found on]

Time Wibbly-Wobbly Management

[found on]

Practice the following techniques to become the master of your own time:

    1. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
    2. Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
    3. Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
    4. Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. Take, for instance, the concept of having “office hours.” Isn’t “office hours” another way of saying “planned interruptions?”
    5. Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
    6. Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take five minutes after each call and activity to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, what was missing? How do you put what’s missing in your next call or activity?
    7. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
    8. Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
    9. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
    10. Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.”

[found on]

Me, Myself, and I…No, REALLY.

[found on]

Me and Tim, Tim and I

    • Wrong: Me and Tim are going to a movie tonight.
    • Right: Tim and I are going to a movie tonight.


    • If you take Tim out of the sentence, “you” are the subject.
    • You are going to a movie. When you’re going to a movie, what do you say?
      • I am going to a movie.”
      • You wouldn’t say, “Me am going to a movie.”
    • When you add Tim, the sentence construction remains the same.
    • You’re simply adding Tim, and it’s correct to say the other person’s name first.
      • “Tim and I are going to a movie.”
[found on]

If It’s Passive—Pass it…

[found on]
  • Passive voice produces a sentence in which the subject receives an action.
    • In contrast, active voice produces a sentence in which the subject performs an action.
  • Passive voice often produces unclear, wordy sentences,
    • whereas active voice produces generally clearer, more concise sentences.
  • To change a sentence from passive to active voice, determine who or what performs the action,
    • and use that person or thing as the subject of the sentence.
    • PASSIVE voice:
      • “On April 19, 1775, arms were seized at Concord, precipitating the American Revolution.”
    • ACTIVE voice:
      • “On April 19, 1775, British soldiers seized arms at Concord, precipitating the American Revolution.”
[found on]

Pre – Positional Is Where a Preposition Lives

[found on]

“Like adjectives and adverbs, prepositional phrases add meaning to the nouns and verbs in our sentences. There are two prepositional phrases in the following sentence:

The steamy air in the kitchen reeked of stale food.

The first prepositional phrase–in the kitchen–modifies the noun air; the second–of stale food–modifies the verb reeked. The two phrases provide information that helps us understand the sentence.

The Two Parts of a Prepositional Phrase
A prepositional phrase has two basic parts: a prepositionplus a noun or a pronoun that serves as the object of the preposition. A preposition is a word that shows howa noun or a pronoun is related to another word in a sentence. The common prepositions are listed in the table at the bottom of this page.

Building Sentences with Prepositional Phrases
Prepositional phrases often do more than just add minor details to a sentence: they may be needed for a sentence to make sense. Consider the vagueness of this sentence without prepositional phrases:

The workers gather a rich variety and distribute it.

Now see how the sentence comes into focus when we add prepositional phrases:

From many sources, the workers at the Community Food Bank gather a rich variety of surplus and unsalable food and distribute it to soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Notice how these added prepositional phrases give us more information about certain nouns and verbs in the sentence:

      • Which workers?
      • The workers at the Community Food Bank.
      • What did they gather?
      • A rich variety of surplus and unsalable food.
      • Where did they gather the food?
      • From many sources.
      • Who did they distribute it to?
      • To soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homes for the elderly.

Like the other simple modifiers, prepositional phrases are not merely ornaments; they add details that can help us understand a sentence.

PRACTICE: Building with Simple Modifiers
Use adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to expand the sentence below. Add details that answer the questions in parentheses and make the sentence more interesting and informative.

Jenny stood, raised her shotgun, aimed, and fired.
(Where did Jenny stand? How did she aim? What did she fire at?)

There are, of course, no single correct answers to the questions in parentheses. Sentence-expanding exercises such as this one encourage you to use your imagination to build original sentences.”

Common Prepositions

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[found on:]