Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: who’s who.

who’s who. “Who’s Who” is a shortened form of “who is who” (the second “who” being correct as a predicate nominative). But some writers — despite the popularity of various widely touted books called “Who’s Who” — mangle the phrase into *”who’s whom.” E.g.: o “The charade of who’s whom [read ‘who’s who’] and what’s what gets stretched to absurd lengths.” Jan Herman, “French Farce: All Dressed Up for a Tasty Snack,” L.A. Times, 14 Jan. 1997, at F4. o “Since so many of Tampa’s servants of the people have been face down in the public trough for so long, pretty soon the only identifying feature one has to work with in figuring out when one glad-hander’s term ended and another’s commenced is [to try ascertaining] who’s whom [read ‘who’s who’] from the line-up of ever-expanding posteriors.” Daniel Ruth, “Mr. Joey Corrects the Record,” Tampa Trib., 18 Mar. 1997, at 1. Language-Change Index — *”who’s whom” for “who’s who”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Dialectal speech is of the utmost importance to a proper conception of the historical development of English pronunciation, just as an examination of the existing remains of those zoological genera which descend from one geological period to another, serves to show the real development of life on our globe.” Alexander Ellis, On Early English Pronunciation with Especial Reference to Shakespeare and Chaucer, part 4, at 1090 (1869).
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