07
Mar
10

OF WHOM WE ARE ALL HAUNTED

“We readers of many books are still very careful to say “Whom did you see?” but we feel a little uncomfortable (uncomfortably proud, it may be) in the process. We  are likely to avoid the locution altogether and to say “Who was it you saw?” conserving literary tradition (the “whom”) with the dignity of silence…It is safe to prophesy that within a couple of hundred years from to-day not even the most learned jurist will be saying “Whom did you see?” By that time the “whom” will be as delightfully archaic as the Elizabethan “his” for “its.”….We say I see the man but the man sees me; he told him, never him he told or him told he. Such usages as the last two are distinctly poetic and archaic; they are opposed to the present drift of the language.”

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