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Winging it - the key to successful language learning?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2560
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VietCanada wrote:
who but grammar junkies (kidding) can give a short, elegant answer to when to use who or whom.

Time to crack out the LGSWE again, to make up for the devastating loss of a quote from Folse. Laughing But seriously, I recall the LGSWE is pretty good on who versus whom, esp. the actual usage data. Very Happy Wink
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
VietCanada wrote:
who but grammar junkies (kidding) can give a short, elegant answer to when to use who or whom.

Time to crack out the LGSWE again, to make up for the devastating loss of a quote from Folse. Laughing But seriously, I recall the LGSWE is pretty good on who versus whom, esp. the actual usage data. Very Happy Wink


I was asked that question about 12 years ago. My first week or or so of my first EFL job. I, like everyone else I knew just didn't use whom. I think that roughly sums up the usage data. Very Happy

I found Michael Swan's book shortly after. Dl-ing a LGSWE pdf is proving a bit more challenging.

I read this article last night from the (Canadian newspaper) Globe and Mail's public editor. It seems readers are complaining to them about errors using who and whom in their articles.

There were some good tips and a brief discussion about the newspapers style book rule suggesting 'breaking the rules to avoid sounding stuffy'[sic]. Perhaps that's the source of the error.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/inside-the-globe/public-editor-when-whowhom-trips-us-up-it-also-trips-up-our-readers/article5371529/

Tip #1: "Substitute the pronoun “him” or “them” when you’re in a who/whom quandary. If it sounds right, “whom” is correct (and that’s easy to remember because all those pronouns end with an “m”). If “he” or “they” sounds correct, the pronoun you want is “who”."
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2560
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that sounds about right regarding the usage data LOL.

The Language Log website, especially Geoffrey Pullum, often criticizes those who use hypercorrect forms e.g. 'whom' even when it sounds odd. Worth a look if one hasn't visited that site before.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who versus whom? What's the matter? It's easy. And it is still in use, if a little old-fashioned. 'To whom it may concern...' for example.

Nothing like the quagmire that articles presents. Very hard to say you have a totally explicit knowledge of how those chappies operate. So, Fluffy, no cigar there, but a worthy research attempt.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Yeah, that sounds about right regarding the usage data LOL.

The Language Log website, especially Geoffrey Pullum, often criticizes those who use hypercorrect forms e.g. 'whom' even when it sounds odd. Worth a look if one hasn't visited that site before.


That site is interesting.

Another interesting site is edge.org.

In their words- "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves."

If your interest is purely Linguistics you can search and find contributions from several people in the field. Noam Chomsky has contributed a few times.
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