Discussion Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
whom to contact
when to use who vs. whom
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/02/19
8:47am
LMMDesigns
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
2013/02/19
Offline
1
0

We have a directory called “Whom to contact about what.” A couple (that is exactly two) co-workers have come to me and told me that is should be “Who to contact.” I was taught that the ‘rule of thumb' is in any case that you would use him or her, you use whom, so you wouldn't say “I'm going to contact he” and therefore it should be “Whom to contact.” I tried a couple of online grammar checkers, and neither was marked as incorrect. So, who is right? (Him is right? I don't think so ;) )

2013/02/19
10:33am
Glenn
Admin
Forum Posts: 1577
Member Since:
2009/03/03
Offline
2
0

Primarily, you can approach this grammatically or stylistically.

Technically, whom is right. In your phrase it is the object of the verb to contact. But there are lots of reasons why "Who to contact" is far from egregious. In fact, stylistically, lots of folks would consider "Whom to contact" stuffy, bookish, or formal. Are they wrong?

Lots of people employ who indiscriminately where both who and whom are possible, with different meanings. But, how could anyone possibly confuse the who as the subject of this verb, especially a verb in infinitive form (which is used in English when an overt subject is impossible)?

In your longer phrase "Whom to contact about what," I think the length of the phrase and the additional object of the verb make it sound less stuffy than it would sound in the shorter phrase "Whom to contact." If it doesn't bother you to sound stuffy, or if you want to communicate distance, then go with whom. If it is important to be colloquial, or if you want to communicate friendliness and helpfulness, then go with who.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online:
29 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 750

Bob Bridges: 676

Ron Draney: 619

RobertB: 427

tromboniator: 370

Robert: 352

Dick: 350

samaphore: 319

dilettante: 287

Raffee: 238

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 604

Members: 2990

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3082

Posts: 16232

Newest Members: holahada, Twisted2014, BMayer, pyrogue, Zednotzee, bensabio, trombone_player, jvallelunga, grantbarrett, wpengine

Moderators: Grant Barrett (1420)

Administrators: Martha Barnette (828), Grant Barrett (1420), EmmettRedd (619), Glenn (1577), timfelten (0)