Wednesday, January 08, 2014

That seems to be the least of your problems

Today in "Ask the Editor":

Q. Which is the correct use of the pronoun WHO and WHOM? I understand that who is used for subjects and who for objects of a sentence. But for this case, I am confused since I am writing in the passive voice. Is it Who or Whom that goes after the name Rachel Rosen? "I was referred to you through a mutual friend, Elizabeth Lewis, WHO or WHOM I met through Couchsurfing." Thanks so much.

It's exceptionally polite of David and the gang to answer "whom," rather than, say, "Why would the answer be any different if you'd written in the active voice?" Or, even more to the point: "Where did Rachel go?"

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Indeed. (And the clause with the "whom" is in active voice, anyway. Not that it matters, as you note.)

4:36 AM, January 09, 2014  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

P.S. I like the way they ruthlessly rearrange sentences, making them mean different things. "Sailing with a fleet" is not the same thing as "sailing in a fleet's area of responsibility" and "working together, layer by layer, to remove the rubble" is not "working together to remove the rubble layer by layer".

4:50 AM, January 09, 2014  
Anonymous Picky said...

Astonishing what these people ask AP. Are they copy-editors, do you think? If so, were they hired for their brainlessness? The stuff about the fleet's area of responsibility, for instance, is just amazing. Shouldn't they know how to create a sentence without AP's help?

I have had AP's special position explained to me before, but I still can't quite grasp why a newspaper would want to outsource its style to a bunch of agency journalists, or why a newspaper would want to employ copy-editors who lack any confidence in their own knowledge of English.


9:52 AM, January 10, 2014  

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