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Thread: An s or a s

  1. #11

    Re: Rulz rool

    "An historical" is just wrong, pretentious or not. Say the word "historical" by itself. Hear that "h"? Chicago Manual of Style rules that "a historical" is correct, so that's how I'm goin'. I've definitely been on the an or a SASE seesaw before though.

  2. #12
    Mike Fulton

    Re: Unrooly rulz rool

    >>To whomever wants it<< NO! NO!NO! NO!NO! NO!NO! NO!

    "to whoever wants it." Why? Because 'whoever' is the subject of the clause 'whoever wants it.' Since 'wants it' needs a subject, the nominative case is the proper case; hence, 'whoever.'

    The noun clause'whoever wants it' is the object of the preposition "to." The entire noun clause ('whoever wants it') is in the objective case because the entire clause is used as the object of the preposition "to."

    "Whomever said it was wrong" NO! NO!NO! NO!NO! NO!NO! NO!

    Same grammatical rules apply here. We have a noun clause which needs a subject. Subjects (as well as predicate nominatives) are in the nominative case. 'Whomever'is objective case, so you can't use this form of the relative pronoun as the subject of the sentence.

    "Whoever said it was wrong was misinformed. " In this case, the noun clause "whoever said it was wrong" is also in the nominative case because it is used as the subject of the sentence.

    "to whom9ever) the package was sent"

    "whoever sent the package"

  3. #13

    Re: Unrooly rulz rool

    Okay, a historical. But YOU battle the demon Mrs. Ward! LOL Lois

  4. #14

    Re: Unrooly rulz rool

    Bring 'er on! :-D CMoS takes NO prisoners (in these United States anyway).

  5. #15
    Fred Volz

    Re: Unrooly rulz rool

    In the "whom" debate, I believe I passed on the proper usage in favor of realism in my book because, as I said before, I would rather talk than write, given the choice.
    For instance, in my 1st chapter I had passage that went like this ( I wrote this as seen through the eyes of the child experiencing it):
    Anyway, we made crafts and listened to stories and when the teacher wasn’t looking, would flirt with the girls in class and spread rumors about who “loved” who.

    Of course my editor changed it to "who loved whom" (editors often lack imagination and a sense of humor, except of course for Gary Kessler, but then again he hasn't editied my work either)I wish she had not, because I haven't met a kid yet who says "whom".
    I'll admit it; I have no clue about much writing craft. I read quite a bit and know how to make the words speak off the page, but the roolz don't seem to rool my work as much az I'd like them two.

  6. #16
    Mike Fulton

    Re: Unrooly rulz rool

    I'm unforgiving about that sort of thing too. I think an editor feels a responsibility to uphold the rules of grammar lest he be accused of running a loose ship.

  7. #17
    Bob Kellogg

    Loose lips sink ships

    I agree, Mike. Someone has to make the crew behave, even if it takes a good flogging.

    I'm old-fashioned enough to search for a way to express something without splitting an infinitive. Still makes me wince when I read something like, "We would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr. Pepper..."

    I know, I know. Can't just rearrange it. But call me compulsive. I'd mess around with it and try to say it another way. Like, maybe..."We would like to express our gratitude..."

    Go get 'em, Mike.

    Bob K.

  8. #18
    Craig Gosse

    Grammarical Nightmares...

    Herbs. As in the famous' 12 secret herbs and spices'. Pronounced, of course, 'urbs' - so, do you add an herb to your spaghetti sauce? Or a herb? For that matter, who ever just adds one? It's almost always 'herbs', almost never 'herb' - maybe just to escape all the confusion...

    Ah, but one of the many - great many! - little quirks of what we call 'the English Language' - which, of course, is no such thing. 'English' is some French (spoken with a German accent) and some German (spoken with a French accent), with assorted latin, greek and other languages mixed in to liven it up.

    How about 'Anechoic'? Surely you wouldn't say that an anechoic tile fell off the submarine... would you? A anechoic isn't any better, though. (Me, I'd stick with 'THE anechoic tile...' *Grin*)

    English is replete with pitfalls awaiting EVERYONE, no matter how 'professional' - becuase, in some cases, there simply are no 'hard and fast' rules. English, after all, is an evolving language - whether you like it or not.

    * Break for Rant *

    Donut? No! Doughnought - a 'zero' shaped chunk of DOUGH! Draft beer? DRAUGHT Beer! Lite beer? Midnite? No, no, no! AAARRRRGGHHH! 'So he goes?' Where'd he go? Maybe he SAID... LIKE I said? How 'bout AS I said - unless, of course, you're paraphrasing... (*Sigh*)

    * End of Rant *


  9. #19
    Fred Volz

    Mike, Bob, Craig, thanks.

    I suppose I must learn to trust my editors,after all, iof I had to remember all that stuff, the smoke would billow from my ears, as the wiring overloaded and burned my grey (gray? aaaargh!)matter to a crisp.

    I liked the response of the king in the film Amadeus when confronted by an overly complicated Mozart piece,
    "Simply too many notes.Remove a few heir Mozart." To which Mozart responds ,"Which few did you have in mind, sire?"

    Editors are indeed the hidden and under-appreciated souls that make our work shine often times, and as much as I complain, I wouldn't have it any other way.
    In the words of Joe Walsh:
    " I can't complain but sometimes I still do, life's been good to me so far..."

    Thanks for reminding me, guys.

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