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TO WHOM OR NOT TO WHOM

From: IATEFL NEWSLETTER 13(8), 8/9 97, p. 23

In the margin

Alan McLean

And finally, for something completely different. I submit the following examples as part of my forthcoming paper entitled: 'Notes towards an investigation into grammatical hypercorrection and sociolinguistic attitudes in American fiction.'

Example 1:

In that house I heard the word 'whom' for the first time. A woman answering the telephone while a church social was going on outside in the garden said, 'To whom do you wish to speak?... To whom?' - stopping me in my tracks.

William Maxwell: "Incidents on a Bridge"

Example 2:

Degarmo lunged past the desk towards an open elevator beside which a tired old man sat on a stool waiting for a customer. The clerk snapped at Degarmo's back like a terrier. 'One moment please. Whom do you wish to see?' Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly. 'Did he say "whom"?' 'Yeah, but don't hit him,' I said. 'There is such a word.'

Raymond Chandler: "Farewell, My Lovely"

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