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    #21

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Lynch's test (and it's a good one), proves that The American Heritage Book of English Usage is wrong when it says "Using whom often sounds forced or pretentiously correct, as in Whom shall I say is calling?".

    It is pretententiously incorrect to say Whom shall I say is calling? Applying Lynch's test, we get Shall I say he is calling? So it should be Who shall I say is calling? not whom.
    Originally Posted by Soup
    Your logic is somewhat off:
    Receptionist: Whom shall I say is calling? <object pronoun >

    Client: Say that I am calling. <subject pronoun >
    Hi Soup!

    Pleased to see you agree with me:

    I say X.
    You reply saying it's not Y, it's X.


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    #22

    Re: The use of who and whom

    With whom did you go?
    Here we have two indicators saying that this is a question to an object - 'whom' and 'did'.
    If we wanted to ask a question to the subject, we would say ' Who went with you?'
    Maybe as time went by, people decided that one indicator is enough and changed 'whom' to 'who'. Then there occurred a shift of the preposition to the end of the sentence.
    These are speculations, of course. But who knows!

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    #23

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Hi Soup!

    Pleased to see you agree with me:

    I say X.
    You reply saying it's not Y, it's X.


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    #24

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I'd like to respond also.

    All three of these have rules; the last one, however, is prescribed:

    than I am
    Rule => We know there is a verb, so we use I.

    than me
    Rule => We know there isn't a verb, so we use me.

    than I
    => We're taught this one maintains the integrity of the grammar. Whether we use it or not depends on what we subscribe to and who we are talking to.
    It's of little consequence that occasionally prescriptivists have described, accurately, how we use some area of language, even when they've been wrong on the grammar.

    The last example, above, is but one option that's available to us as English speakers. The prescription comes from trying to proscribe the use of object pronouns as in the second example. Here, as is the norm, no one listens.

    Again, we see that it doesn't matter one iota what is prescribed, [or taught because prescriptions must be taught/inculcated], for native speakers don't heed the advice.

    If I'm reading Soup correctly, I believe that she misleads when she suggests that what we use depends on "what we subscribe to".


    Ideology, Power, and Linguistic Theory
    Geoffrey K. Pullum
    University of California, Santa Cruz

    ...

    The prescriptive ideologues appear to be tacitly adopting some form of realism that grammarians generally do not endorse. Louis Menand (politically a liberal, by the way), expanding on what he meant by remarks in a review about how there should be more grammatical usage advice in The Chicago
    Manual of Style, stated in an email to my friend Arnold Zwicky that all regulative rules of usage “are fundamentally arbitrary, and thus sometimes feel as though they exist only to trip up even the most careful writer.”

    Yet he made it clear that he felt they nonetheless defined solecisms for us, and were to be obeyed, since a writer should be careful to avoid solecisms. This is not just a common attitude; it is the standard one. A colleague of Zwicky’s posted a remark to a newsgroup to the effect that violations of
    a certain prescriptive rule were indeed ungrammatical.

    Zwicky writes: “I mailed him an example [that violated the rule] from his own writing” but all that happened was that “he was inclined to think that he
    should just be more vigilant.” There is more than a hint in this of a realist attitude to regulative usage rules—as if they exist independently of us.
    This nails it. Prescriptivists themselves don't follow prescriptions when operating in natural language situations. They can't because prescriptions are not real rules of English grammar. This is the falsehood, that there are these "rules" that exist independently of the language and that they are something which we should aspire to.

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    #25

    Re: The use of who and whom

    riverkid, I can't see your post. You are on my ignore list.


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    #26

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Originally Posted by riverkid

    Once again, we have a traditional rule that does not reflect actual language use. Such a rule simply isn't a rule, it's a prescription; as such it is not followed by people using natural language.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I'm curious about what you think the difference between a rule and a prescription is, regardless of whether the rule/prescription is followed.

    prescription...the action of laying down authoritative rules or directions
    ..................something prescribed as a rule

    You can see that it wouldn't matter how many people demanded that humans change their behavior and breath through their, shall we say, posteriors; it just ain't gonna happen. There might even be some reasons provided why this would be better, it still ain't gonna happen.

    It could be taught in school for centuries that this is the correct way to breath, same effect. Numerous little breathing style manuals could be written, but no such luck, humans would steadfastly refuse to follow this prescription/rule.


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    #27

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    riverkid, I can't see your post. You are on my ignore list.
    A scholarly approach, Soup. Kudos.

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    #28

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    It's of little consequence that occasionally prescriptivists have described, accurately, how we use some area of language, even when they've been wrong on the grammar.


    Again, we see that it doesn't matter one iota what is prescribed, [or taught because prescriptions must be taught/inculcated], for native speakers don't heed the advice.




    This nails it. Prescriptivists themselves don't follow prescriptions when operating in natural language situations. They can't because prescriptions are not real rules of English grammar. This is the falsehood, that there are these "rules" that exist independently of the language and that they are something which we should aspire to.
    A most unconvincing 'answer' riverkid. Your blind hatred of rules/prescriptions (you haven't indicated any difference) keeps you from recognizing reality. Your statement that "occasionally prescriptivists have described, accurately..." is laughable!


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    #29

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    A most unconvincing 'answer' riverkid. Your blind hatred of rules/prescriptions (you haven't indicated any difference) keeps you from recognizing reality. Your statement that "occasionally prescriptivists have described, accurately..." is laughable!
    Hardly a blind hatred, 2006. Just a firm realization of what they offer to language. Where they agree with descriptivists they are describing language accurately. Where they are prescriptive, they are making up artificial rules?

    We know this is a fact. You do not use 'whom' in the manner of the prescription. You do not use relative pronouns in the manner of the prescription. And you suggest that I don't recognize reality.

    One can choose to obsess over prescriptive rules, but they have no more to do with human language than the criteria for judging cats at a cat show have to do with mammalian biology.

    S Pinker
    For here are the remarkable facts. Most of the prescriptive rules of the language mavens make no sense on any level. They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons several hundred years ago and have perpetuated themselves ever since. For as long as they have existed, speakers have flouted them, spawning identical plaints about the imminent decline of the language century after century. All the best writers in English have been among the flagrant flouters.

    S Pinker
    Last edited by riverkid; 08-Jun-2008 at 17:18.

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    #30

    Re: The use of who and whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Would you check the sentences below?

    1. Who did he go to the movies with?
    2. With whom did he go to the movies?
    3. Whom did he go to the movies with?
    4. With who did he go to the movies?

    I've thought that after a preposition(in this case, with), we use "whom"(as in 2). So, sentences 3 and 4 seem to be wrong to me.

    I appreciate your help.
    So, Yoshio my friend I hope that you have found all this immensly edifying, I hope it has answered your question. I would suggest that you stick with, "Who did he go to the movies with?" If, occasionally you want to be a bit daring, you could slip in "With whom...?" Both of these are correct, the first one is much more widely used.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 08-Jun-2008 at 08:40. Reason: typo

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