Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Atlantic Monthly

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Megan Garber

I have hoarded magazines for years.  My intentions were good but, alas, my time was short. Medical mags mixed with The New Yorker in drifts on tables and floors.  Finally, after reading an article in the morning paper about a woman who lay unnoticed and dead amidst the rubble in her home, I hauled them all to the trash and vowed to subscribe nevermore.

Fast forward to retirement.  Five periodicals now arrive at regular intervals thanks to some really good deals on auto-renewing subscriptions. I'll probably never be able to stop them and will be found suffocated after all someday below a heap of yellowed JAMA. But I've found a good face wash in Prevention, a new phone app in Money, why flowers produce caffeine in Science, and...the projected death of the pronoun whom in The Atlantic Monthly.

" doomed" says Ms. Garber.  In an increasingly casual world, whom is pretentious, awkward, off-putting.  She quotes whom advice from language expert William Safire: "The best rule for dealing with who vs. whom is this: Whenever whom is required, recast the sentence."  English is being reworked in a convivial, fast-paced, techno-world, and whom just adds one superfluous character to texts and tweets.

My favorite bad-ass action hero Jack Reacher just asked on the latest audio book to which I am listening (which I am listening to?) "Who recruited who?"  Bad-ass action heroes would get their bad asses kicked if they asked "Who recruited whom?"  

Point made.

No comments:

Post a Comment