Who vs. Whom

Just a short post today, but on another thing people frequently misuse.

Who refers to the subject of a sentence.
Whom refers to the object of a verb or proposition.

Cheat sheet: 

If you can replace the word with he or she,
use who

If you can replace the word with him or her,
use whom.

WHO

Who would like to borrow a book?
(She would like to borrow a book.)

Who wants a piece of cake?
(He wants a piece of cake.)

Who made the potato salad?
(They made the potato salad.)

WHOM

To whom was the parcel sent to?
(The parcel was sent to her.)

Whom does the dog belong to?
(The dog belongs to him.)

Got another grammar question? 
Contact me and I'll add it to the blog.

Apostrophes

Apostrophes are one of the most incorrectly used punctuation marks.
Here's a short guide to when (and when not) to use apostrophes:

Possession

Personal names and singular nouns

Apostrophes are used to show a thing or person belongs to someone or something.

George's community = the community belonging to George
The cup's handle = the handle belonging to the cup
Today's newspaper = the newspaper belonging to today

Personal names ending in S

If the name ends with S, add an apostrophe and S if you would pronounce the extra S when saying it out loud.

Jess's editing
Thomas's buttons
Dickens's novels

With names where you wouldn't pronounce the second S verbally, just add an apostrophe after the S.

Bridges' mother

Plural nouns ending in S

When the noun is plural and ends in S, add an apostrophe after the S.

A girls' school

Other plural nouns

When the noun is plural but does not end with S, add an apostrophe and S.

The children's Christmas tree
The Country Women's Association

Showing omission

I'm = I am
she'll = she will
he'd = he had/he would
it's = it is
didn't = did not
can't = cannot
'88 = 1988

It's vs its

it's = it is/it has

It's been a cold winter
It's a good book

its = belonging to it

The cat sharpened its claws

Don't use apostrophes
to show plural forms!

Two exceptions to the rule:

  • plurals of single letters = dotting the i's and crossing the t's
  • plurals of single numbers = how many number 8's?

Got another grammar question? Contact me and I'll add it to the blog.

Copy Editor? Proofreader? What's the Difference?

I'm glad you asked! Copy editing and proofreading are two very different stages of the publication process. Copy editing comes first and tidies up the manuscript to be formatted. Proofreading is the final stage before publishing, when the typesetter has laid everything out – kind of like a safety net. Let me break it down for you:

Copy editors deal with:

  • errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • consistency
    • naming, spelling, capitalisation, hyphens, font, numerals
    • plot, character descriptions, setting
    • repetition
  • continuity errors and plot holes
  • problems with transitions or syntax
  • improving the overall flow and quality of the writing
  • keeping the writer's voice consistent.

Proofreaders deal with:

  • formatting and quality of the final print layout
    • aesthetics: hanging words, blank space
    • omissions or missing pages
    • unusual word or page breaks
    • accidental repetition
  • page numbering
  • checking media (photos, graphs, tables) and caption content match
  • checking for errors introduced in the layout process.

The crossover:

  • spelling
  • punctuation
  • capitalisation
  • typos.

I hope this has been helpful in deciding which service you might need. Feel free to comment below or contact me if you have any questions!

Drumroll, please!

Welcome to my brand-spanking-new editing blog. Here, I'll discuss the finer points of grammar and punctuation, answer any questions and hopefully provide some insight for your writing.

I'm Jess - a copy editor and proofreader based in sunny Sydney, Australia. My passion is helping authors tighten and polish their work before sending it out into the big, wide world.

If you have any burning grammar questions or just want to learn a little bit about what a copy editor and proofreader actually DOES, feel free to contact me here or comment below!