Monday, 16 November 2009

That Othello

A TSF reader recently took a jab at a newsman saying: "Ya, but he doesn't know the difference between WHO and THAT."

The offending sentence in the critic's eye: "More importantly, whatever happened to the editor that would back him or her?"

We have noticed an increase in the use of "that" over "who" in print and broadcast media, but to question "that" is to question William Shakespeare, who, for Othello's swan song, wrote:

(To speak) "Of one that loved not wisely, but too well."

That was four centuries ago.

"Who" gets our vote, but if you go with the Bard, "that" is OK too.


  1. For that matter, another sign of the looming apocalypse is people who write "Ya" instead of "Yeah".

  2. The eminent English scholar Eric Patridge explores the use of which and that and who (whom) over four pages of extremely tiny print. And I'm not qualified to condense his conclusions. Best read it for yourselves in Partrige's Usage and Abusage,

  3. Her or him is actually correct, since it should be by alphabetical order.