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.
- 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.