I don’t know who this Paam person is or why PHP was expecting her, but it apparently has something to do with $. Doesn’t it always? After consulting the following post, which was quite helpful, I discovered that I needed to put $ before my db. Apparently $ really is the root of all evil.
When you’ve stopped scratching your head or falling about laughing and calling your mates in to view the screen (’cos you can’t pronounce the words) just make sure that all your variables have their $s in tact! Googling for it will come up with interesting etymology when you have the time.