Who’s Misusing Whose?
People have a lot of trouble with the word whose.
A short web cruise will turn up numerous examples of the error of writing who’s when the context calls for whose. For example:
Do any of you have favorite authors who’s books have become hard to find?
People who’s lives are manipulated by others…
What to do with a step daughter who’s behavior is out of control
When Driving A Borrowed Car: Who’s Policy Covers What?
Like it’s, who’s is a contraction. And like it’s, the misuse of who’s screams ignorance or extremely slipshod writing.
Who’s is a contraction for the words who is.
Whose is a word of many uses. Here are some examples of ways in which it may be used to stand for nouns, describe nouns, ask a question, or introduce a clause:
Whose are these keys?
Whose dog is this?
Don’t forget whose son you are.
He found a laptop and wondered whose it was.
That’s the race horse whose winnings made Jones a millionaire.
Don’t delay the passengers whose passports have already been stamped.
NOTE: When the antecedent is inanimate, whose may be replaced by of which:
The new car, the luxury of which impressed everyone, is a domestic make.
However, since the by which construction often produces what the OED calls “an intolerably clumsy form,” whose is often used for inanimate antecedents as well: This is the cottage whose shutters and thatched roof so delight me.
Because I don’t like to leave egregious errors floating in people’s minds, here are the corrected sentences:
Do any of you have favorite authors whose books have become hard to find?
People whose lives are manipulated by others…
What to do with a step-daughter whose behavior is out of control
When Driving A Borrowed Car: Whose Policy Covers What?
Browse all articles on the Misused Words category or check the recommended content for you below:
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