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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ask not for who the bell tolls | Mind your language | David Marsh, guardian.co.uk

Gad, the confusion about using who or whom continues--and the debate about whether the difference is worth arguing about also continues.

In this article, Marsh writes that the difference is important ... in written but not spoken English [emphasis added]:
If you don't understand such basic rules of written English – and it really isn't hard, as we are about to see – readers are entitled to wonder what else you don't understand, and with what authority you purport to write something you think they ought to read.
And he emphasizes the point made above:
Using these pronouns is so easy that there is no need to get them wrong ever again.
Marsh provides useful, clear advice, though I wonder if he's covering all the instances in which use of who or whom might come up.

I provide advice similar to Marsh's advice in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual. But I wonder about my advice in the same way I wonder about Marsh's advice. And I also wonder sometimes if it would just be simpler to drop all use of whom. Marsh, I'm sure would disagree.
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This article is featured today (Aug. 23) at Garbl's Style: Write Choices--available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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