Tags:
  1. dillseed
    Offline

    dillseed Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    19

    Whoever vs. Whomever

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, Apr 20, 2014.

    “Give the promotion to the most qualified candidate, whomever that may be.”

    (I say 'whomever' is correct here. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation says that if you can substitute 'him' and the sentence makes sense, use 'whom/whomever.' If you can substitute 'he,' use 'who/whoever.' In this sentence you can definitely use 'him'; thus, I think, 'whomever' is correct: ... that may be him, not ... that may be he, correct? My choice is 'whomever' in this sentence—do you agree with my choice?)

    But:

    “We will give the promotion to whomever you recommend.”

    (I say 'whomever' is also correct here [... give the promotion to him].)

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,840
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Whomever v. Whoever

    Clearly, both are rooted in whom and who, respectively.

    Who is the subject of a sentence, either as a declarative or as an interrogative. Whom is the object in a sentence, usually the indirect object; thus, it is wrapped in what is known as the dative case. Dative means to give. Something or someone in the dative case is usually the recipient of something (actual, factual or abstract) in a sentence.

    Notice that your sentence explicitly mentions the concept of giving:

    See the to there? Preposition. Think of the subject of the sentence as the King. It rules all. Prepositions are like major nobility. They don't rule the whole thing, just their parcels of land, and they still must answer to the King. In this sentence, the King is visiting a foreign land on Kingly duties because you cannot see him here, but His royal presence is implied in a command statement. There He is in the royal blue brackets. The Duke of Dative is there in green. To is very often (though not exclusively) the sigil of the House of Dative. Since you now see that the citizen in question is living in the dukedom of the Duke of Dative, you now know that the citizen will not be wearing the royal color of blue, because he does not answer directly to the King, but instead to the Duke of Dative and it is the Duke of Dative who answers to the King. The citizen's name would be Whoever were he a member of His Majesty's Court, but he is not. His name is Whomever because he is a member of the Duke of Dative's entourage.
     
  3. dillseed
    Offline

    dillseed Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    19
    Phenomenal explanation.

    Thank you for taking the time to address this for me.

    Very appreciated.

    Mike
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I think it's only a matter of time before the use of who/whoever in these cases becomes acceptable usage because so many people use it incorrectly.
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  5. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,840
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Yup. I just had a flashback to COMP101. Had a teacher who was the kind to make everyone pass their paper to the person to the left (last row goes all the way over to the first row) and everyone give a check to the paper before they got handed in. I still remember the first assignment and the guy whose paper I was checking (poor thing, he tried) had used whom in all cases thinking it was just the fancier version of who and he wanted his paper to be snazzier. I felt bad. He was a nice guy. :)
     
  6. blinkstun
    Offline

    blinkstun Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    6
    This boggles my mind.
     

Share This Page