To whom it may concern

I wonder if Yahoo! Style has editors and writers who have shared information about the difference between nominative and objective pronouns. I think not:

The nominative pronoun who can be the subject of a verb like, oh, say, maybe have shared. The objective pronoun whom can be the object of a verb or preposition, like “to whom it may concern” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

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Nice try. But wrong

Looks like this Yahoo! Style writer was trying to be excruciatingly correct, but wound up being completely wrong:

whomever-wears-sty

The word she should have used is whoever, because it’s the subject of the verb wears.

If you’re unsure if you should use who or whom (or whoever or whomever), go with who (or whoever). You’ve got a 50-50 chance of being correct. If you use whom or whomever and you’re wrong, you look like a pretentious high school dropout.

Not a high school graduate?

Doesn’t every high school graduate know that the pronoun who refers to human beings? Apparently not. There must be colleges that accept applicants who don’t know that and at least one editor at yahoo.com who’s unaware of the rule:

fp colleges who

To whoever is reading this

To whoever is reading this: The Yahoo! Sports writer is confused about the use of whomever (which is the objective case of whoever and is used as the object of a preposition) and whoever (which can be the subject of a verb like was listening):

to whomever spo

This writer isn’t alone in his confusion. To many people, it appears that whomever is the object of the preposition to, but it’s the entire clause that’s the object of the preposition. And whoever should be the subject of the verb in that clause.

If you’re not into being grammatically nitpicky and you’re faced with the choice between who and whom or whoever and whomever, go with who or whoever. In more the half the cases, you’ll be correct, and even if you’re wrong, your writing will sound more authentic and less stilted and formal.

The man of whom we speak

There’s at least one person who writes for a living, but has only a tenuous grasp of English grammar. Of course, the man of whom we speak is the Yahoo! Sports writer responsible for this:

of who mlb

Not a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer

With this many mistakes in a single sentence, it’s a safe bet that this Yahoo! Style writer won’t be winning any journalism prizes:

emmy-award sty

I gotta give her credit for trying to use a hyphen, though she got that wrong. It should be Emmy Award-winning. It’s downhill from there: that was featured should be who were featured. Although it’s not grammatically incorrect to refer to human beings with that, it is considered impolite; that’s why she should have used who. And was featured is grammatically horrific since its subject is powerhouses. Finally, we have women in the TV, which may sound correct to those learning English. To the rest of us, it’s the worst.

Eek! It’s a wrong word! And another!

Eek! A mouse! That’s what cartoon characters scream as they jump onto the nearest chair. What the Yahoo! Celebrity writer meant was eke:

eek out cel

The pronoun who should be reserved for people (or animals with human-like qualities). In spite of what former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said, corporations are not people.The correct word in this context is which.

Who is a brand?

There are more errors than you think that are on Yahoo! Style, including the use of who for a nonliving thing (twice!) and a holiday called Independence:

who sty

The pronoun who should be used only for people (and possibly animals with human-like characteristics); the correct word is that (in this excerpt) or which. The holiday the writer refers to is called Independence Day.

Take a peek at this

Take a peek at this capitalization (or rather, lack of capitalization) of Christmas on Yahoo! DIY:

blogs 1

Who doesn’t know to capitalize the holiday? The same person who doesn’t know that using that to refer to human beings is considered impolite. The pronoun who would be more to Emily Post’s liking.

blogs 2

Just one peek into this paragraph reminds us that the writer isn’t fond of capitalizing holidays like Valentine’s Day:

blogs 3

Or Mother Nature:

blogs 4

Reading that, you feel like you are really peeking into the mind of the writer, who has trouble picking the right homophone and who forgets to use an apostrophe to show that it’s kids’ art.

Who wrote that?

I find it hard to believe that there’s a professional writer or editor out there who thinks that this is correct:

fp teams who

Who wrote that for yahoo.com? Do they really think that you can use the pronoun who to refer to a football team? Really? The correct word is that; who is used to refer to human beings.

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