Petition USCCB to Remove Bad Grammar from Website

Under the “Beliefs and Teachings” tab on the new USCCB Website, (usccb.org), One of the subpages reads “Who We Teach.” This is clearly bad grammar since “Who” is not acting as the subject, but as the direct object. It should say “Whom We Teach.” The bishops ought to use orthodox grammar if they want their teachings to be understood as orthodox too. Go to usccb.org/about/contact-us.cfm to start to petition the bishops to remove the bad grammar.

P.S. I chuckled all the way through writing this post, but I seriously sent my own message on the USCCB contact to the Webmaster. I encourage you to do likewise. What do you think?

I’m pretty sure this is allowed, style-wise, just like how in the subjunctive verbs can become plural (“if I were” rather than “if I was”).

Or they could switch it to the passive, “Who Is Taught by Us”.

What you are saying is true of verbs, but not of the word who/whom. The particular rules for who and whom can be seen at homeworktips.about.com/od/homeworkhelp/a/whom.htm.

Clearly, it should read “Whom we teach.” For passive, it would have to say, “Who are Taught by Us” but this is too wordy.

[quote="catholic4reason, post:3, topic:254738"]
What you are saying is true of verbs, but not of the word who/whom. The particular rules for who and whom can be seen at homeworktips.about.com/od/homeworkhelp/a/whom.htm.

Clearly, it should read "Whom we teach." For passive, it would have to say, "Who are Taught by Us" but this is too wordy.

[/quote]

If you click that link, though, it says "Who does the Catholic Church in the United States teach?", and I don't know anybody who would insist that it be "Whom does it teach". Similarly, since the number is unspecified, it would be "who is taught by us", not "who are": singular is the default.

There is such a thing as being overly prescriptive in grammar.

I think the word “whom” is pretty close to being archaic in modern English use. It will soon be be seen only in legal documents and historical works.

I’m going to save my pedantic missives to correct erroneous use of “your” and 'you’re." :o

[quote="Hastrman, post:2, topic:254738"]
I'm pretty sure this is allowed, style-wise, just like how in the subjunctive verbs can become plural ("if I were" rather than "if I was").

[/quote]

The "were" in "if I were" is not a plural. It is the singular English subjunctive.

[quote="MarkThompson, post:6, topic:254738"]
The "were" in "if I were" is not a plural. It is the singular English subjunctive.

[/quote]

Yeah, I know. I was actually trying to show that the form used in this specific case may be something else (relative constructions, which is basically what this is, often work weird, grammatically—and Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan don't even have them).

[quote="Dale_M, post:5, topic:254738"]
I think the word "whom" is pretty close to being archaic in modern English use. It will soon be be seen only in legal documents and historical works.

I'm going to save my pedantic missives to correct erroneous use of "your" and 'you're." :o

[/quote]

No, I use whom all the time, but "whom we teach" sounds awful, except when used as an appositive—"Who we teach", as a header, is okay, but you would say "those girls, whom we teach at that school over there".

I happen to like the last lingering traces of my language's case system, and I don't intend to give it up without a fight. But style is dictated just as much by euphony as by grammar.

[quote="Dale_M, post:5, topic:254738"]

I'm going to save my pedantic missives to correct erroneous use of "your" and 'you're." :o

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Weird to respond to my own post, but I’ve got it: they’re actually writing “Who’ We Teach”. That is, the final -M got assimilated to the following W!

Perhaps some lingering element of liaison, from Normal French? (Actually I don’t even know if Norman French had liaison, Medieval French didn’t drop the final consonants and that’s how liaison happens, but dude, how awesome is that theory?)

[quote="Dale_M, post:5, topic:254738"]
I think the word "whom" is pretty close to being archaic in modern English use. It will soon be be seen only in legal documents and historical works.

I'm going to save my pedantic missives to correct erroneous use of "your" and 'you're." :o

[/quote]

:D Thanks for making me laugh. :)

I just picked up a dictionary on English Usage this past weekend, and they seemed to take a pretty fluid approach to the who vs. whom controversy.

I'm more concerned that the content of the site is solid than that their grammar is beyond reproach. :p

[quote="Dale_M, post:5, topic:254738"]
I think the word "whom" is pretty close to being archaic in modern English use. It will soon be be seen only in legal documents and historical works.

I'm going to save my pedantic missives to correct erroneous use of "your" and 'you're." :o

[/quote]

Could I also petition the USCCB to clarify the amount of Purgatory awaiting those who misuse "it's" and "its?" (Hopefully the same amount of punishment for those who pluralize with an " 's.")

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