Who – That…it’s all in the word

“Bertha Bloodhound collapses in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts in order to say goodbye to Fatsy Spatsy, her childhood love, that dumped her for Zelda Crumbrunner.”

Of course, that bolded word should be who. I know it’s a silly thing, but I see this all the time, and it bothers me. It’s a writer’s job to communicate properly, and this includes knowing proper grammar. If you’re talking about a person, it’s who. If you’re talking about a thing, it’s that. Capice?

4 Responses to Who – That…it’s all in the word

  1. Stacy Dittrich says:

    You’re killin’ me woman! What a great picture! I had to print it out and put it on my office wall. Again, loved our lunch together at BEA–keep making me laugh!!

    Stacy Dittrich

  2. Judy says:

    It bothers me, too, Lynn. I see this particular grammar error all the time.

  3. Brian Clegg says:

    It’s the grammar what gets you.

    I even feel uncomfortable when writers do this kind of thing in dialogue. I suppose it can be justified then – because people speak in ungrammatic fashion all the time – but it still feels wrong. As written dialogue is rarely realistic anyway (for instance it’s not usually loaded with ‘umm’s and ‘like’s), I don’t really see why it should accurately reflect typical bad use of English.

    I don’t know if it happens in the US, but a big UK bugbear in spoken English is using ‘of’ instead of ‘have’ as in ‘I shouldn’t of done that.’

  4. Ooo, Brian, fingernails on chalkboard. Yes, it drives me nuts when spoken just as much as when written.

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