Rockstar English teachers

english111Two vie to be top writing consultants to lawyers. They are Bryan Garner, the style-and-usage manualist and legal lexicographer; and Gary Kinder, the creator of editing software that makes your writing clear and concise. English teachers run wild. Law firms pay them lots to teach lawyers to write right.

Both publish blogs about writing – mostly about usage. Garner’s is LawProse.  Kinder’s is WordRake – Write to the Point.

Both are very good. Rock-star English teachers is what they are though. Grammarians who work very hard not to be boring.

“Who” or “whom”? They tell which. (Don’t get them started on “which.”)

Garner hooked me recently, boring down on “whoever” and “whomever”. The rule is what you’d expect.

What caught me was the possessive of whoever. There are three possibilities: “whosever”, “whoever’s,” “whomever’s”.  Bryan wrote it up, so go read him.  In short, “whosever” is formally correct, but “whoever’s” is winning the battle colloquially. Many dictionaries don’t even include “whosever.” “Whomever’s” is always wrong.

The possessive of whoever.

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