Tag Archives: English

I’ll never say whom, and semicolons are unnecessary

I hate when I’m trying to write something in Microsoft Word and it tells me via that super passive aggressive green squiggly underline that I shouldn’t have written the word “who,” that what I meant to say was actually “whom.” Nope, sorry Microsoft Word, sorry English language, but I refuse to ever, ever use the word whom. Except for that last sentence. And I guess any future uses of the word whom in this blog post are exempt as well.


I’ve never said whom in real life. And if anybody ever says whom to me, I’ll walk away in the middle of your sentence. “Rob!” you’ll yell at me as I fade away in the distance. “Where are you going? What did I say?” You said whom. Nobody says whom. It doesn’t even sound right. It sounds like you have something stuck somewhere on your tongue, and you’re simultaneously trying to speak in English while getting that thing unstuck from your tongue.

It’s the most unnecessary wordage in the English language, its sole purpose being to give word snobs a reason to talk down to people when they don’t use it. But like I said a million times already, nobody uses it. If my boss ever came over to me and said, “Hey Rob, I want you to send out this gift basket.” And if I said to my boss, “Hey boss, to whom should I send it?” He’d probably fire me. “Stop being such a smart-ass dick,” he’d shout to me before slamming the door to my back. Because really, you don’t sound smart. You just sound like that person who doesn’t get it, that real people don’t talk that way anymore, that languages evolve, and that the written word follows in step. It’s like, you don’t hear people saying thine and ye and shan’t and giveth. See, well, you can’t actually see it, but Microsoft Word didn’t underline any of those old English words as being misspelled. Because they’re technically words. But nobody uses them. And nobody uses whom. So stop. Just stop.

And while I’m at it, I’ll never use semicolons, I don’t believe in them. I’ll give the same exact argument that I gave for who and whom, they don’t serve a purpose in modern anything, not modern writing, not modern literature, Internet, nothing is better off thanks to a semicolon. It’s a poseur’s trick to make it look like you know how to write, and that’s what it comes down to, I guess, that just because you know the rules doesn’t necessarily make you good at the game. “But Rob, all of those clauses simply must be separated by a semicolon!” Why? It’s outdated. It’s stupid. It prevents the natural flow of words going from page to head. Having clauses separated by commas does the same exact thing, it’s easier on the eye, and you don’t need semicolons. Because they’re lame. You don’t need this symbol ^ either. What’s it called, a carrot? Yeah it’s for old-school style corrections, right? Yeah, sorry carrot, computers have made you obsolete too.

Chu wanna rite like dis? Go ahead, just do it, just write something, anything, because English is a language that’s constantly evolving. It’s why old English and middle English are barely legible to modern readers. It’s why we’re arguing about what the Founders meant when they placed that comma over there when writing the Second Amendment. And this is a good thing (not the Second Amendment part), because rules are important, sure, but you learn the rules in school and then you move on. If anybody’s criticizing grammar outside of a high school classroom, for real, that’s super lame. Just stop it. Super, super lame.

Tea time

I’m trying out tea time. Ideally I’d like to have it at four o’clock every day, so I can be like “Four o’clock! Tea time!” saying that out loud in a ridiculous British accent, but really ridiculous, like if a British person were in the room with me when I said it, they’d be like, “I do say, you really are a bloody idiot,” but I wouldn’t let any Englishmen get me down, I’d continue, say something like, “Nonsense, I insist,” and I’d point them to my kitchen where, and again, this is the ideal situation, four o’clock, “ding-dong!” I’d get a miniature grandfather clock and put it in the corner, miniature enough that I wouldn’t have to make a standalone space just for the clock, I could put it on a shelf, somewhere inconspicuous enough that if you walked in the room, maybe you’d notice it right away, maybe you wouldn’t, that would be the idea, but as soon as the clock strikes four, you’d know. You’d know what time it is. Tea time.

Hurry up then! I’d snap my fingers in the air. Again, four o’clock, definitely on Saturdays, definitely when I’m not at work and my friends aren’t at work, I’ll invite everybody over, tell them to show up at, “three forty-five on the dot!” in, again, in that crazy accent, and maybe they’d get it, my more astute friends, they’d think to themselves, “Blimey, that Rob, that devil, is he planning a tea time?” and they’d get into it, they’d start thinking their own thoughts in that same quasi-British accent, and they’d throw around words like chums, and mates, and flat, all together, in a really English way, they’d think thoughts like, “Fancy Rob hosting a tea time for his chums and his mates at his flat?” and would that even be a question or just a statement? I always imagine all British sentences ending in a question mark, even if it’s not a question, with one exception: an exclamation point reserved exclusively for times when one is simply shocked by another’s callous behavior, to the point where they can’t hold it in anymore, they just have to shout out, “My word! I never! I do say!”

Maybe it’s a Tuesday. Maybe I actually have to work that Saturday. When we can’t demand perfection, sometimes we’ll have to settle for second best, a six o’clock tea time, seven, eight, (but never later than eight.) Still, I’ll be standing there in the foyer, really just a kitchen, but I’ll call it a foyer for tea time, and I’ll raise my hand in the air, snap, and I’ll present trays of cucumber sandwiches, toasted English muffins, which I’ll call crumpets and scones, and my friends will be so impressed by the cucumber sandwiches that they’ll then look at the English muffins and think to themselves, “Huh. I never knew British people called English muffins crumpets and scones. I thought that was something else entirely. But then again, look at how authentic those cucumber sandwiches look. Rob’s got to know what he’s doing here.”

The earl grey tea will be served piping hot. The cucumber sandwiches will be devoured so quickly that the bread won’t have time to get soggy from the lemon juice. I’ll be dressed semi-casually: jeans, but a proper tuxedo shirt, kind of a throwback to the whole proper English thing. I’ll be playing classical music in the background. We’ll all sit around the drawing room (again, just my living room, but repurposed for tea time) legs crossed over the long way, the hard way, the English way, and we’ll be nibbling on scones and sipping on tea and laughing at this and that.

I do say! You simply must come over for tea! Four o’clock, (see above) at my flat! Bring your mates! Cheerio!