Monday, January 22, 2007

CNN hearts grammar

As I was browsing the website for Senator Brownback's prayerful bid for the presidency, I came across an article on a podcast by "Grammar Girl", which, apparently, has been as high as number 2 on iTunes.

Here's an excerpt:
Who and whom: "Whom" refers to the object in a sentence, and "who" refers to a subject in a sentence. It's correct to say "Whom does Sarah love?" ("whom" is the object of Sarah's love) and "Who loves Sarah?" ("who" is the subject of the sentence). It can help to remember that the Rolling Stone's song "Who do you love?" is wrong.
This reminds me of my budding days as a grammarian when I -- with about two years of school English -- pointed out that Mick Jagger had to be the most satisfied man in the universe, since he could not get no satisfaction. Ah, the attractions of prescriptivism! ("Grammar girl" now also has a podcast on good manners and on "Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life" -- something I guess no linguist has ever been asked to contribute to.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, great post. I just went to Grammar Girl's site and she conjugates 'to lay' and 'to lie' for in a little chart. She gives the past participle of the latter as 'lain'. Do many native speakers of American English say things like this:

"The cat has lain in the mud for hours."

That's her example. I could imagine a very formal context -- like writing a disssertation -- where you'd say that, but with a cat in the mud?