Let’s face it; not many people use “whom” anymore. It just seems a little stuffy, doesn’t it?
As The Oatmeal has said in a funny piece on who vs. whom, “you could probably go the rest of your life without ever using whom and 99.9% of the world would never even notice.” Having said that, however, “using whom puts a smoking jacket onto whatever you just said.”
Smoking jacket aside, you’ll look smart if you know when and where to use whom.
Both Grammar Girl and the Grammarly blog (both great resources) boil it down to this:
- If you can replace whom with him, you have most likely used it correctly. (Whom do you love? I love him. Yep, that works.)
- If you replace who with he and the sentence doesn’t makes sense, you should use whom. (Who do you love? I love he. Nope.)
Rules or not, I agree with Dan Santow, now EVP at Edelman, who once said:
“If you have to think about it for more than 15 seconds, choose ‘who’ and move on. (Life’s short enough as it is.)”
Image: Man smoking a pipe by “imagerymajestic” and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.