Who Needs Whom?

This Weekender magazine cover created by the folks at my favourite fake-news site, The Onion.com is a great example of visual irony because it inverts the reader’s normal expectations.

dumped2What, precisely, is important here? Surely it must be John and Jennifer. But no. In this case (or in every case, depending on your point of view regarding the popular culture), they are quite beside the point. What we really want to know is — Is it “who” or “whom”? Celebrities are someday forgotten, but the struggle with interrogative personal pronouns in the objective case goes on forever.

There is no doubt a fascinating story to tell about these lovely people, but we all need to know how to use pronouns, and what could be more important than that?  You can read about how we use our copyeditorial power and influence (a combination that is more oxymoronic than ironic) to impose the proper use of who/whom here.

If you are not cross-eyed after reading that, try this quiz.

Words for today: Copyeditors will always fix your pronouns.


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