"who" vs. "that"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 26 19:01:54 UTC 2009

FWIW, I learned, ca.1945-1955, that there are two kinds of relative
clauses, "restrictive" and "non-restrictive." If the clause is
restrictive, then _that_ *can* be used. Otherwise, _that_ can *not* be

Since the commercial contains a restriction - the supposed "benefit "
accrues *only* to a specified subset of women - the wording, "...
women *that* eat ..." is as "grammatical" for me as "... women *who*
eat ..."

But, does anyone *really* care? Which is *not* to say that I don't
enjoy a good pet peeve, having many of my own that I have posted or
intend to post. :-)


On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 10:52 AM, Bill Palmer<w_a_palmer at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bill Palmer <w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET>
> Subject:      "who" vs. "that"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A current Kellogg's Special K commercial claims, "Research shows women =
> THAT eat breakfast have fewer problems with weight" (last few words may =
> not be exactly right, but you get the picture)
> I would have said "...women WHO...", because it just sounds more =
> natural.  Are there any "prescriptions" for this?
> Bill Palmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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