May 10th, 2013

[ .HARRY. ] ★ supermegafoxyawesomehot!

Friday Funnies: 'Doctor Whom'

"Doctor Who?"  Doctor Who did what?
Mr. Watson of HijiNKS ENSUE gives a good lesson here about the difference between less and fewer, but the Grammar Dalek's last exclamation about "Doctor Whom" unfortunately misses the mark.

But before we explain why, let's quickly review the difference between who and whom (using examples from the Very Potter musicals):

Who and whom are both words that replace nouns (that refer to people).  However, there is a distinct difference between them:

  • Who is used when replacing a human subject.  For example: It was Draco who let Voldemort and the Death Eaters into Hogwarts. Who only reads books but cannot draw, even if she were reading a "how-to-draw" book?  Hermione.

  • Whom is used when replacing a human object.  For example: Cedric found whom in the graveyard?  Quirrell and Voldemort.  To whom did Dumbledore leave Hogwarts and his chocolate factory?  To Harry and Charlie, respectively.

An easy way to remember the difference between these particular words that I myself have used is looking at the word that comes after the who or whom in question.  Is there an action verb there that who or whom performs?  If so, then choose who; if not, then choose whom. In the case of being verbs (which take two subjects instead of one subject and one object), use who.  For example: Who the devil was it? It was Snape.

As far as the comic goes, the first instance of "who versus whom" in the comic is correct; the problem with the Grammar Dalek's last exclamation is that this particular usage of "Doctor Who" is neither a subject nor an object, and therefore it does not need to be changed to "Doctor Whom" as the Grammar Dalek says it does.