Who & Whom: Does it Matter Anymore?

I don’t use the word whom when I write. For a long time, I didn’t understand the difference between whom and who, so I stuck with what I knew. It seemed to work. None of my teachers in K-12 ever pointed out the mistake, and neither did my professors in college. In fact, it wasn’t until my senior year at CSULB that I finally felt I had a firm grasp on the two words. In English Grammar, I learned that the easiest way to remember the difference between whom and who is to replace whom with him or her and to replace who with he or she. For example:

We all know who/whom ate the last piece of cake.

Which sounds better?

We all know him/her ate the last piece of cake.

Or

We all know he/she ate the last piece of cake.

Well, the second one of course, which is how we know that who ate the last piece of cake is correct. Yet, knowing the correct word usage hasn’t made me include the word whom in my writing any more than before.

Personally, I think I’d sound stuffy and pretentious (like how I imagine all old, British men in my head) if I said, “Whom should I vote for?,” even if it is correct. The word is outdated and becoming more and more obsolete each day. While it saddens me that words like muffin top (yes, muffin top) and bling are now a part of the Oxford English dictionary, I would not oppose to the removal of whom.

Maybe I’ve offended grammar nerds everywhere by saying this, only time will tell. Do you agree or disagree? Tell us below in the comments section.

– Melanie Figueroa

 

Melanie Figueroa

Melanie is the Editor-in-Chief at The Poetics Project. She has a masters in writing and book publishing from Portland State University and a passion for stories in all their forms. Her favorite book is The Bell Jar. You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells.

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