Beyond the Technical

When does a person use affect versus effect?  How about further versus farther?  Dare I even bring up who versus whom?

As blog publishers we have some responsibility to try to use the correct words, good grammar and proper punctuation.  Just thinking about it can make my fingers freeze above the keyboard.

However there is help.  Grammar Girl gives understandable and entertaining tips for all of these issues.   (In the case of affect verses effect there’s even a cartoon. )


  1. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

    The answer is: You ask ME! Working Girl, bless her little anal-retentive self, knows the answers to all these questions!

    Use “affect” for the verb; “effect” for the noun. (“Affect” is occasionally a noun but not often enough to get your knickers in a twist about it.)

    It’s “farther” for tangible things, and “further” for intangibles. The way to remember this is that there’s a “far” in “farther.”

    “Who” and “whom” is kind of a pain. Most of the time, you know to use “whom” because it’s after a preposition. (Prepositions are those little words that show relationships between other words—in, to, for, of, etc.) The rest of the time, when you are wondering whether to use “who” or “whom,” rephrase the sentence in the form of a question. If the answer is “him,” then you use “whom.” If the answer is “he,” then it’s “who.” Did this make any sense? Probably not. I explain it better, at greater length, in my blog. Somewhere. If you’re really interested, let me know and I will find the link for you…………

  2. Dear Working Girl,

    What was I thinking? Now that you mention it I do remember seeing this in your blog. Yes, please send the link to the discussion on “who” and “whom”. We’ll post it here.

    So may I, and the rest of the blog-reading public, feel free to send our grammatical question to you?


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