Q. I answer our company’s main phone line, and frequently get calls for myself. Today when someone asked for me saying, “Is Charlotte available?” I responded, “This is she.” The caller promptly corrected me, informing me that I should have said, “This is her.” Which is correct?
Q. Please confirm or contradict the following. The special grammatical role played by the relative pronoun “whoever” leads to a case that few seem to know how to handle: when its role in the main clause appears to be objective, but its role in the subordinate clause is nominative.
For instance, I frequently read things like “We will give the prize to whomever runs the fastest.” This is incorrect; it should be “whoever.” The rule is that the case of the relative pronoun is governed by its role in the subordinate clause, not the main clause. Thus, in this case, it is the subject of “runs” and is therefore nominative. The object of “to” is the entire clause “whoever runs the fastest.”
If you agree with this analysis, please put something on your site about it that I can refer people to. I have some arguments I would like to win. :-)
Q. Hello CMOS. My close friends and I have decided for numerous reasons that all of the current methods of political correctness in pronouns are silly and, simply put, not as gender neutral as they claim to be. With that in mind we decided to import the French on as both a singular and plural gender neutral pronoun. However, it has just recently occurred to me that in this situation what would be the protocol for the genitive case of on and constructions such as his/herself, would it be on self? Thank you CMOS.
Q. Is “this is mine and Kelly’s cat” correct? Would you please explain the rules behind this sentence. Thank you.
Q. I am having trouble deciding if it is “Page and I” or “Page and me” in “Please let Page and me know.”
Q. I’m having trouble with “who” vs. “that.” I understand that, in general, “who” is used with persons, while “that” is used for groups. However, consider the following sentence: “In this way, the novel satisfies the demand of many social scientists who/that demand a more reflexive and critical examination of an author’s political and social context.” Are these many social scientists a group requiring “that,” or people requiring “who”? Thanks!
Q. When writing a proposal for my company, I typically use the pronouns “we” and “you.” For example, “We are confident that the job can be done in the time frame you desire.” I have a colleague who insists that I should write, “Our company (or XYZ Inc.) is confident that the job can be done within the time frame ABC Co. desires.” I think the repetitive naming of the companies becomes tedious to read, and it becomes confusing to refer to each company as “the firm” or whatever. I think that after the company name is mentioned at the onset, then referring to the respondent as “we” and the recipient company as “you” makes for clearer communication and also sounds less lofty and distancing. What is your opinion?
Q. I have an author who continually uses He/she in the beginning of sentences. I understand that you may make that reference in the beginning, but then must choose one gender to refer to from then on because it is daunting to the reader to continually have to read He/she. I cannot find a specific CMOS reference to justify this change. Can you assist?
Q. Is it proper to capitalize pronouns that refer to a deity? For example, “God is willing to forgive anyone who comes to Him.”
Q. I am writing a thesis for my university and use the pronoun “we” instead of “I.” For example, “From this, we can conclude that . . .” I personally think this looks more scientific than using the “I” pronoun. However, a colleague of mine states that if I am the only one writing the thesis and doing the research, I should use “I,” because otherwise readers might wonder who else wrote the document. Do you know which one is better to use in my case?