What Happened to Who?

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

No, not the 1960's London Rock Band The Who, and not the famous Dr. Who, and not even the one Horton heard by way of Dr. Seuss, but the lovely pronoun that seems to be less and less heard - at least to my language sensitive ears.


Don't get me wrong, while I know that the technically correct way to say, for instance... "Hello, it is I at the door," everyone, even beleaguered scholars, overlook the popular, accepted, "Hello, it's me!" It sounds better, even to me. Yes, I know language is fluid, it changes. After all, we no longer speak in "thees" and "thous" and we would hardly be conversant in English of the 10th or 11th Centuries.


But WHO, is almost universally being replaced by the world THAT. It is not really wrong, but our imposing Irish eighth grade teacher, Mr. McGoff, were he here today, would be sad to know that his time-honored lessons were being forgotten in our fast moving world. The lesson was that the word WHO was used as the pronoun which had anything to do with people. The man who, the girl who, fireman who and so on.


So, give it a try. When you're speaking, bring WHO into the conversation - WHO should not be forgotten! We'll stop now, before we get into the old Abbott & Costello Who's on First routine. If you don't know it, check it out on line - it will give you a laugh and absolutely show how words matter!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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