Every once in a while, someone submits a who/whom question. Apparently, the use of who and whom continues to confuse many educated people, even university students at Cornell:

Cornell protest flag

In searching for a duplicate for the most recent one, I had to sift through a lot of questions, and found a near perfect match in a closed question.

The recent OP's example and the closed example:

  • They chose the candidate whom they thought would have the best initiative.
  • They interviewed several candidates whom he thought had the experience and qualifications he required.

I'm no site searching wiz, so it took me a while to find the best answer. If it took me a while, I can only sympathize with someone relatively new searching among all the who/whom answers here.

We have at times brought up consolidating answers into a comprehensive reference. Thanks to good answers (including Dr. Lawler's), Geoffrey Pullum (Language Log) and the Oatmeal, I think I have a pretty good handle on who and whom, the trends regarding it, the hypercorrection problem, etc.

I'm volunteering to make an attempt at one comprehensive answer, if there is consensus that we could use one.

Should I try, and if so, to whom do I submit my answer for evaluation?

  • You might ask @Matt Ellen about creating a post on the EL&U blog.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Sep 1, 2014 at 17:51
  • @KitFox - Would that come up in a site search for answers? Sep 1, 2014 at 17:53
  • 2
    Also "thieves".
    – Mitch
    Sep 1, 2014 at 19:10
  • ...and "America."
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 11, 2014 at 16:56
  • A canonical post that answers "who" vs "whom". Did you ever post your answer?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 21, 2015 at 12:02
  • 1
    I hate it when I write the perfect answer and then the question gets closed. Oct 22, 2015 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


I like canonical answers, myself. You can ask and answer your own question, and doing so is explicitly encouraged to further the objective of sharing knowledge. As to who would evaluate it, that would be via community votes as usual.

You might consider preparing the question and answer off-line and then simply pasting them in one go. There’s even http://stackedit.io to help with that: you can prepare and preview text formatted with Markdown, and (if you want to) sync and share via Dropbox or Google Docs before final publication. You can also set up a Chat room.

A blog post would be a good starting point and could test the waters regarding community opinion (via comments on it, or chat about it, as there’s no voting). The blog is separate and not searched via the site search, but you could write a canonical answer based on the blog post and any subsequent discussion.

  • An explanation please as to what makes a good canonical answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 21, 2015 at 11:56

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