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Chapter 6. Woe Is I: Pronouns and Case > Who Versus Whom (or Should I Just Shoo... - Pg. 64

Woe Is I: Pronouns and Case 64 Who Versus Whom (or Should I Just Shoot Myself Now?) Contemporary writer and humorist Calvin Trillin once claimed, " Whom is a word invented to make everyone sound like a butler. Nobody who is not a butler has ever said it out loud without feeling just a little bit weird." Trillin isn't alone in his frustration with who/whom. More than half a century ago, a professor named Arthur H. Weston voiced his feelings over who/whom this way: It's hard to devise an appropriate doom For those who say who when they ought to say whom. But it's even more hard to decide what to do With those who say whom when they ought to say who. No one will argue that who and whom are the most troublesome pronouns in English. Anyone who has ever grappled with who and whom might use stronger language than that, but this is a family- type book. Here are some reasons why who / whom are so perplexing: · · · · Who is used as an interrogative pronoun in questions. Who is also used as a relative pronoun in complex sentences (see Chapter 13 for more on this). Whoever is usually found only in complex sentences (again, see Chapter 13). Who knows how to use these suckers? Quoth the Maven