To whom it may concern by Angela Caldin

It doesn’t concern many people actually because the pronoun whom has been steadily falling out of use over the last hundred years or so. It’s rarely used in speech nowadays and there is speculation that it will soon become extinct. But you’ll still find it in formal writing and many writers pride themselves on using it correctly. As whom declines, who is used more and more and these two words may seem interchangeable.  But there is a difference. Who functions as a subject in a sentence whereas whom functions as an object…. Read More

Due to or because of by Angela Caldin

Does anyone else remember being told at school to be very careful when using due to, because in some situations it could be grammatically wrong? I avoid using due to for that very reason, but today I decided to find out what the distinction is between due to and because of. It turns out that due to acts as an adjective, which describes or modifies a noun. It can be replaced by caused by. It follows some form of the verb to be. For example: The car accident was due to poor… Read More

Empathy and sympathy by Angela Caldin

I was pondering the other day on the difference between empathy and sympathy and having a bit of difficulty distinguishing between the two. Empathy, it seems, is a fairly modern concept encompassing the ability to understand emotionally and cognitively what other people feel. It’s the ability to see things from another’s point of view, and imagine yourself in the place of another. In essence, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they are feeling. Sympathy, on the other hand, is a feeling of pity or sense of compassion… Read More

Standing and sitting by Angela Caldin

‘We stand for standing and sitting and we will not stand for stood and sat.’ So says the Guardian style guide and I am writing this post in solidarity and support. I think I may be in an ever-decreasing minority of those who wince when someone says: I was stood outside the night club waiting for it to open. This would be all very well if someone had picked the person up and placed them upright outside the night club, but it is not all very well if what they mean is… Read More

Selfies by Trevor Plumbly

On reflection Looking in the mirror’s one thing, but when it comes to describing yourself it can get a bit tricky. Emily provoked this train of thought the other day after her second glass of Shiraz by blurting out, ‘We need to upgrade our bios; Christ I’m still 40 in mine.’ After a re-read, I had to agree. Those scanning that little puff-piece would think that I’m bloody spotless! It comes across like a eulogy in one of those new-age churches, delivered by a celebrant who had never met me. Who the… Read More