Category: Who / Whom / Whoever / Whomever

Shape-shifting Troublemakers

Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013, at 5:25 pm

No nouns in our language behave like pronouns. The most common subject pronouns (I, he, she, we, they, who, whoever) all become different words (me, him, her, us, them, whom, whomever) when they are objects. Colloquial English has always thumbed its nose at proper English. A seemingly innocent everyday sentence like It’s me is Exhibit …

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I Subject, Your Honor

Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013, at 2:55 pm

Last month, in discussions of who-whom and whoever-whomever, we passed along a handy memory aid: who (and whoever) = he; whom (and whomever) = him. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it goes nowhere unless we can tell a subject (he) from an object (him). One reason that distinguishing between subjects and objects …

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Sweating the Small Stuff

Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at 2:19 pm

At a football game a few weeks ago, the University of Notre Dame sold soda in cups that said, “Figthing Irish.” Did no one at this distinguished school have the time or pride to proofread a two-word slogan? Here are a few other items we’ve seen recently and now wish we hadn’t… Back to Basics …

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Whoever Would Use Whomever: Read On

Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 12:39 pm

Last week we discussed Americans’ odd fondness for whom. It’s a word that few really understand, but it just sounds so darned cosmopolitan. If we’re infatuated with whom, we’re over the moon about whomever. You hear it everywhere. People love saying it—right or wrong. Just recently, a major American newspaper ran a headline that said …

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Whom Abuse Is Rampant

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 12:32 pm

Consider the humble pronoun. It seems that fewer and fewer Americans know when to say “she” or “he” or “me” instead of “her,” “him,” or “I.” It used to be that little Gloria would run home and tell her mother, “Me ’n’ Annie saw a walrus!” Whereupon her mom would say, “ ‘Annie and I,’ dear.” …

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