Issue 170, page
North-Hurst is one who likes who
I want to kick a speaker's shins when I hear: "The people
that blah, blah, blah. . . ." or "The man that blah, blah, blah." Have they never heard
of the pronoun who? Are they unable to differentiate between animate,
sensate beings and objects?
This one gets us, too.
Here's what Fowler (The New Fowler's Modern English Usage) has to say
on this issue:
Normally use who as
the relative pronoun following a human antecedent and that (or which)
following an inanimate antecedent. Either who or that
may be used when the antecedent is animate but not human, or when the
antecedent is human but representative of a class or is an indefinite
pronoun. In contexts containing a double antecedent, of which the
first is human and the second is inanimate, that is naturally
required (he answered accusingly . . . as though it was she and not the
drug that had done it).
Have you heard or read
similar or equally distressing usages?
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Last Updated 09/12/02 09:34 PM