AJBryant wrote:Yudan Taiteki wrote:
You can find "misuses" of them in Shakespeare and the King James Bible (instances of both "who" substituted for "whom", and vice versa).
I hate it when people do this.
Has it never occurred to you that Shakespeare was not writing prose, but DIALOGUE? His grammar was FINE in the poetry.
Even so, my point was that the confusion between who and whom is not a recent thing.
But the dialogue comes from people of high societal standing, e.g.:
"BOYET: Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
Consider who the King your father sends,
To whom he sends, and what's his embassy." (Love's Labor's Lost)
"MACBETH: ...but wail his fall, who I myself struck down." (Macbeth)
"TIMON: Think it a bastard whom the oracle
Hath doubtfully pronounc'd thy throat shall cut" (Timon of Athens)
All of those are nobles, not clowns or rustics.
Here's one example from the sonnets:
"So is it not with me as with that Muse
Stirr'd by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use" (23)
Again, the only point I was really trying to make is that the confusion between who and whom has been there for pretty much all of modern English (and it may even go back to Middle English).
The "proper" use of language is -- and always has been -- a factor of how much education one has, how much one pays attention to what is and is not correct, and what one is trying to communicate.
That's not entirely the case; in Shakespeare's time, English was not a prestige language, and so there were no people prescribing how the language should be used. Even if Shakespeare had wondered how to use who and whom, he wouldn't have had any source to look at. It wasn't until the later 17th and 18th centuries that people published prescriptive grammars.