Search Results for: whom

Breaking the who/whom rule in English literature

For a paper I’m planning to write on the breaking of prescriptive rules by literary authors for characterisation purposes, I’m looking for specific examples of the breaking of the who/whom rule. I have several examples of them already, and have … Continue reading

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Hypercorrect whom

It has been a recurring topic on this blog, but whom definitely seems to be on the way out. I’m in the middle of reading a pile of third-year essays, and have already come across two instances of hypercorrect whom this … Continue reading

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Whom and Len Deighton (and like)

There have already been several posts in this blog about the disappearance of whom, and also about prescriptivism in English literature. Here is one that combines both. Funeral in Berlin, which I came across when looking for the third part … Continue reading

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Out with whom, in with the split infinitive

One of our blog authors recently tackled the “whom issue”, and it made me wonder if this word is really dying out. Our readers will also remember several posts featuring the split infinitive, the pedants’ pet peeve. I have decided … Continue reading

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Whom on the way out?

  In Chad Harbach’s novel The Art of Fielding (2011), one brief interaction between two characters is the scene of a linguistic inside joke. Pella Affenlight is arguing with her father, the President of Westish College as well as a … Continue reading

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George Smiley a prescriptivist?

Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post about John le Carré, because I’d discovered that, like Kingsley Amis, Len Deighton and Ian McEwan, he too writes metalinguistic usage comments in his novels. My post then was about a … Continue reading

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The Grammarians – by Cathleen Schine

If you’re interested in prescriptivism, you might well want to read this recently published novel. It’s about twins who gradually grow apart, with the one thing binding them to the end being an old copy of a dictionary, probably  by … Continue reading

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Even John le Carré has them

Metalinguistic comments that is, as in the novels of Kingsley Amis, Len Deighton and Ian McEwan. Reading A Most Wanted Man (2008), I came across several references to accent but also one to who/whom: But for how long? And from who? … Continue reading

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Singular they and women

Back and forth to Berlin last week, for the Wild Publics conference organised by Theresa Heyd and Britta Schneider. There were two papers on prescriptivism, my own (Codification – prescription – prescriptivism: The authority of the lay-person) and one by … Continue reading

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2016/11 The Internet’s (New) Usage Problems

Here is the last feature by Hielke Vriesendorp, a research master student of Linguistics at Leiden, in the new issue of English Today. It is republished on this blog with permission from Cambridge University Press, which owns the copyright to this piece. The original … Continue reading

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