Monday, 20 February 2006

Whither whom?

Micheal Schaub over at bookslut divides speakers of American English into two kinds:
those who think the word "whom" is antiquated and pointless and should never be used, and insufferable pricks. (Hey, sorry. You people who get pissed off about "split infinitives"? Yeah, you guys suck too.)

The Boston Globe also seem to want to stamp out "whom" totally:
And the confusion is worsening, says Pullum, as whom heads off to join thou and ye in pronoun heaven. The current usage situation is ''devilishly complex," he wrote in a 2004 post at the linguistics blog Language Log. ''At least one linguist has decided there is no correct description of it at all."

So when Hough asks for help with the hypercorrect whom--"Can we make a start in stamping it out?"--I'm afraid the answer is, I doubt it. When Louis Menand and the New Yorker can get a pronoun wrong, anybody can get it wrong.

They both may have a point.

No comments: