A World Without "whom": The Essential Guide to Language in the Buzzfeed Age

Emmy J Favilla (Author)
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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date
November 14, 2017
5.5 X 1.4 X 8.3 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Emmy J. Favilla joined BuzzFeed in 2012 and is now global copy chief. She also created the BuzzFeed Style Guide, which garnered a great deal of media attention as the unofficial "style guide for the internet" when it went public in 2014. A New York University graduate, Favilla has worked as a copy editor at Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and Natural Health. She lives in New York City with a cat, a dog, and two rabbits.


"A provocative and jaunty romp through the dos and don'ts of writing for the internet. . . . A World Without 'Whom' provides a fascinating examination of how a modern grammar guru handles the quandaries that arise out of the dialect of social media, at a time when we are afraid--or perhaps excited--that the way we communicate online may be re-engineering our language itself." - New York Times Book Review

"Buzzy and effervescent." - The Economist

"[A] word-nerdy extravaganza . . . In an age defined by highly fluid internet slang, memes and emojis, Favilla's lighthearted, conversational book intends to allay fears of the apocalypse: Our language isn't being decimated, she argues, it's just evolving, as it always has." - Newsweek, "14 Nonfiction Books You'll Want to Read This Fall"

"As English changes, Favilla is on the front lines. . . . This is a very funny book." - The Boston Globe

"[W]itty and informative . . . This is the rare style manual that is as entertaining as it is instructive." - Publishers Weekly

"A lighthearted take on communicating in the digital age." - Kirkus Reviews

"A smart and amusing work that will appeal to those who enjoy the fun point of contact between language's inherent ambiguity and its cultural and technological biases." - Library Journal

"[A World Without "Whom"] lifts up what matters in language, namely clarity and respect for others, and grants permission to dismiss those hobgoblins disguised as 'rules.'" - Booklist

"The internet has brought a range of changes to society, not least of all to our communication. Emmy J. Favilla explores this particular evolution in A World Without "Whom": The Essential Guide to Language in the Buzzfeed Age. In true internet style, she incorporates fun emojis, quizzes, and more into her book." - Bustle, "The 13 Best New Nonfiction Books Of November 2017"

"Snappy and irreverent--but it's also thoughtful, well-informed and relentlessly commonsense. . . . While it may induce cringing among red-pen wielders, Favilla's book will also provoke (literal) LOLs and may inspire a kinder, gentler, more free-flowing approach to language for grammar nerds both traditional and modern." - Shelf Awareness

"Despite the tone of chirpy self-satire, what follows is a small revolution . . . Unlike the language scolds of yore, Favilla embraces the new ways, punctuating her writing with emoji, inserting screengrabs of instant messages, using texting shortcuts such as "amirite"? Hers is a rule book with fewer rules than orders to ignore them." - Tom Rachman, The Times Literary Supplement

"What a fab book. If Emmy Favilla ever seeks adoption, give her my number. Not enough panda jokes, but otherwise hahahahaha." - Lynne Truss, author of EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES

"Equal parts LOL, OMG, and WTF, A World Without "Whom" is an entertaining and thought-provoking look at language in the internet age." - Erin McKean, founder, Wordnik.com

"Favilla's anti-prescriptive manifesto is an Anarchist Cookbook for writers and editors (which covers almost everyone). Sample advice: 'Nobody uses proper capitalization on Twitter'; 'LOL is "played out"'; and the all-important: 'When you publish stuff on the web, you're writing for a global audience, whether it's your intention or not.' I only threw it across the room once!" - Stephin Merritt, author of 101 TWO-LETTER WORDS

"I admire Emmy J. Favilla's passionate thoughtfulness about language as much when I agree with her--'Serial comma for president!' indeed--as when I don't--she can messenger over to my office all those poor sad discarded 'whom's, and I'll give them a good home. Tackling problems so of-the-minute I didn't even know they existed, she displays throughout this witty guide that bracing combination of open-mindedness and sheer willfulness one relishes in a word person." - Benjamin Dreyer, managing editor and copy chief, Random House