Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: whether (2).

whether (2). Today: “As to whether.” In The King’s English 344 (3d ed. 1931), the Fowler brothers describe this phrasing as “seldom necessary.” That judgment still stands — e.g.: o “Surprisingly, most folks have never taken the time to learn this skill . . . , [which] may mean the difference as to whether [read ‘determine whether’] someone with no pulse or respiration will live or die.” David Jennings, “We’re All Obligated to Learn Basic Life-Saving Techniques,” Cincinnati Post, 10 July 1997, at A20. o “Mellot admits he ‘doesn’t have any facts’ as to [read ‘about’] whether the curfew actually has cut crime.” John Luciew, “Curfew’s Legality Still Not Precise,” Patriot & Evening News (Harrisburg), 24 Sept. 1997, at A1. Language-Change Index — “as to whether” for “whether”: Stage 2. Next: “Of whether.” For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “It is safer to err by too many short sentences than by one that is overloaded and embarrassed.” Samuel B. Emmons, The Grammatical Instructor 114 (1832).
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