whom in OED inaccuracy

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 18 13:29:19 UTC 2009

Brilliant observation and true.

On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 7:34 PM, Randy Alexander
<strangeguitars at gmail.com>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Randy Alexander <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      whom in OED inaccuracy
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> I just got back from a trip to Australia, the purpose of which was to
> consult with Rodney Huddleston about an English grammar textbook I am
> writing.  While I was there, I received an email from a friend in
> Beijing that contained "xxx of yyy, who* many of us have known only
> virtually up until now".  He facetiously added "*Beijing is a
> whom-free zone".
> I asked Rodney if he thought "whom" was dying, and he said no, very
> few speakers would accept constructions like "most of who".
> I don't know if there is a newer online version of the OED that I
> cannot access, but the one that I can access, just under the headword
> "whom", says:
> The objective case of WHO: no longer current in natural colloquial speech.
> This is inaccurate.  Perhaps the entry could be modified to say that
> in natural colloquial speech it is no longer current unless preceded
> by a preposition.
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> My Manchu studies blog:
> http://www.bjshengr.com/manchu
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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