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When To Use Whom Or Who (via Mental Floss)

For those who are still communicating with words rather than emojis or memes, this Mental Floss article borrows from Lifehacker and provides some tips regarding the use of the subjective ‘who’ or the objective ‘whom’ in sentences.
The article starts out by observing that the words are not interchangeable:

In casual messages with friends or water cooler conversations with colleagues, it might not seem particularly important to use perfect grammar—and saying whom can sometimes make an exchange seem formal in a way that doesn’t match the situation.
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In short, mentally swap out the who or whom in your sentence with he or him. If he sounds right, you should use who. If him is the obvious winner, go with whom.

Read the helpful memory prompts here.


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How To Pluralize And/Or Add Possessive Case To Last Names (via Mental Floss)

This Mental Floss article links to an article on Slate about how to pluralise surnames, and then refers to some other posts that deal with how to add apostrophes in order to indicate possessive case for surnames.
Plural and possessive, they’ve got that covered too.
Just in time for the end of year and Christmas seasons.


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Twenty-Five Words Being Added To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary In 2018

For a change this list of words being added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in 2018 not only contains words I know, but even a few that I’m surprised aren’t already there.

Some abbreviations: guac, fave.
Some tech words: force quit, predictive.
Some geek words: adorbs, TL;DR.

And more.

Read the list at Mental Floss.


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Fifty Collective Nouns For Groups Of Animals (via Mental Floss)

It’s always fun to keep up with collective nouns for groups of different animals.
This article from Mental Floss has some I’d not heard of.
A walk of snails (or an escargatoire)
A coterie of prairie dogs.
A bale of turtles.
A wisdom of wombats.
Among others.
Some sound made up, but the ones I did know were legitimate, so I guess they’re all good.
Check out how many you knew.


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Does The ‘Close Door Button’ In An Elevator Do Anything? (via Mental Floss)

Articles about why ‘Close Door’ buttons on elevators don’t work, and the reasons why pop up from time to time.
The practicalities behind their non-function make sense, but their presence in elevators even when not connected is still a bit odd.

Read about it at Mental Floss, or search around the internet for plenty of comparable pieces.


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Eighteenth Century Insults (via Mental Floss)

I don’t recommend using any of these.
It’s simply for information’s sake if anyone calls you any of these it’s not good.
From Mental Floss.
A sample:

Death’s Head Upon A Mop-Stick
Gollum-us
Shabbaroon
Unlicked Cub

(My text correct, just had a party with all that)

See the definitions and twenty one more here.


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Why Do Showers Suck? (via Mental Floss)

Ever had a shower in a shower stall that has a shower curtain and wondered why the shower curtain seemed to develop a life of its own, wanting to attack you and cling all over you?
Spoiled younger people probably don’t even know what a shower curtain is.
Anyway, great minds are trying to work out why.
This Mental Floss article contains some of the latest theories.
It seems like folk have been wondering for a while.

Liners have a tendency to billow inward during showers, enveloping themselves around our calves and forcing us to swat them away. As problems, go, it’s fairly innocuous. But that doesn’t mean science hasn’t tried to understand the physics behind the phenomenon.
Back in 1938, Popular Science theorized that liners were behaving badly as a result of air currents. When hot air from the warm water rises, cold air around the tub seeks to replace it, causing the liner—which is in between—to grow agitated. This explanation seemed to satisfy people for a while, until someone pointed out that the liners tend to move even during a cold shower.