Thursday, October 25, 2007

"No one asked you anything, so why don’t whomever’s name is Toby, take a letter opener and stick it in your skull"

Wherein I'd probably just rewrite to avoid using either


From the Language Log is a link to a dissection of the who(m) discussion from The Office, whomever us never actually right:
Toby, however, overlooks that in I want Michael to explain…, it’s not obvious that Michael is a subject. I is the subject of want, and Michael is its direct object, as evidenced by the fact that it can be replaced be him, but not he. On the other hand, Michael seems to be the subject of explain in some sense, as he’s the one who will do the explaining. A lot of syntactic theorizing has taken as its starting point facts like this one, arguing whether Michael is a direct object, or a subject that has been “raised” to become a direct object, or perhaps something else. Even so, Toby’s and Pam’s statements are remarkably accurate, in light of irritatingly common errors like calling He died a sentence in the “passive tense”, or saying that science is a verb. (Props to Oscar, too, for distinguishing dislike of a word from nonexistence of a word.)

Bonus points: moist is offensive to women. Anecdotally I'd also say women have issues with raw chicken. But I don't think there's a correlation.

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