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Whom, Us?

July 28, 1985

I realize that you are all pretty upset over the disappearance of Paolo the Wonderdog (Calendar Letters, July 21), so much so that your ability to choose pronouns was (temporarily) impaired.

You write that you will give a special reward to "whomever finds Paolo or provides information. . . ." Since whom is an object and not a subject, it is impossible for whom to do anything about this matter; he or she is merely a recipient of action, not an actor.

A reminder, quoted from "Understanding English Grammar," by Martha Kolln (Macmillan): "The case of the relative pronoun is determined by its role in the relative clause, not by the role of the clause. In this sentence the clause follows the preposition; however the relative pronoun is the subject . . . within its clause, so its form is subjective (whoever), not objective (whomever)."

P.S. Do you know from whom I can buy a good stereo?

PAULA VAN GELDER

Los Angeles

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