Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: whether (3).

whether (3). Today: “Of whether.” “Whether” usually directly follows the noun whose dilemma it denotes: “decision whether,” “issue whether,” “question whether.” But “regardless,” an adverb, makes “regardless of whether.” Although “issue whether” is typically better than “issue of whether,” the latter phrase has certain justifiable uses in which “of” is obligatory, usually when “issue” is modified by an adjective. E.g.: o “Thompson [referred to] . . . the narrow legal issue of whether fund-raising calls made by either Clinton or Gore violated a federal law barring solicitation on federal property.” “Fund-Raising Law Not Broken, Clinton Says,” Chicago Trib., 23 Sept. 1997, at 11. o “It also allowed trustees to avert the broader issue of whether the industrial park should become a residential area in the future.” Donna Kiesling, “Condos Rejected for Industrial Park Area,” Chicago Trib., 28 Sept. 1997, at I3. Language-Change Index — “question of whether” for “question whether”: Stage 3. For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Such expressions as ‘the family of man’ is no put-down of women. I don’t get worked up over Mother Earth and don’t expect women to get worked up over Father Time.” William Safire, “Hypersexism and the Feds,” in About Language 322 (William H. Roberts & Gregoire Turgeon eds., 2d ed. 1989).
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