Monday, 17 February 2014

Whom is attractive to women?

 There's been quite a lot online (see about men who use "whom" being more attractive, at least on dating sites. This still works, apparently, even if they use it questionably or unnecessarily - I'd better not say wrong, or wrongly. (I think it was specifically men seeming more attractive to women, rather than any other combination.)

On the other hand, David Marsh's book "For Who(m) the Bell Tolls" is selling very strongly and he thinks the word is in decline. He is the production editor of the Guardian and well worth following
@guardianstyle, even if this style guide is a bit extreme on avoiding capitalisation and on the silly bogus rule of "use that instead of which". I wonder if his influence is to be felt in the avoidance of
"whom" in both the Guardian and Observer?

There are lots of examples (like this ice hockey one from the Observer) where "which" is now used
for people, presumably in preference to the sensitive, pretentious, suspect or even dodgy (sexy?)
"whom": "... their successors in the Russian squad, around two-thirds of which play alongside their American rivals in the NHL ..."

By the way, I got told off by transatlantic tweeters for even suggesting that "hockey" could mean
another Olympic sport. But I am pretty sure (check out the websites, chaps) that it is still officially "ice hockey" (Winter Olympics) and "hockey" (Summer). The latter is the national sport of Pakistan and, with cricket, of India, the second most populous country on earth. But don't even mention it to a North American.

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