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'Who can Curly see?' is the title of a book for kids. Curly is the name of a caterpillar. The book is to show that Curly saw several kinds of insects. When I read it I think the who should be whom instead.

I am not an English native speaker and I am not sure the use of who is correct or not in this book's title.

So could you help to clarify this?


marked as duplicate by sumelic, Drew, Dan Bron, user140086, jimm101 Dec 19 '16 at 2:25

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  • 1
    See ShreevatsaR's answer here: "the usage of who in situations where previously whom was standard has been increasing, especially in spoken usage"..."The Language Log posts (1, 2, 3) linked in another answer, as well as William Safire quoted on the Wikipedia page, recommend avoiding whom or recasting your sentence if it seems necessary"..." using who in place of whom is, at worst, being too colloquial (and at best, being hip and cool!)"... – sumelic Dec 19 '16 at 1:52
  • Summary: there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with your understanding of the rule, but you should know that native English speakers don't always follow this rule. – sumelic Dec 19 '16 at 1:52
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    Short version or @sumelic's short version: nobody uses whom anymore. Forget about It. – Dan Bron Dec 19 '16 at 2:00
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    "Deprecated?" No. Just not age-appropriate for a title in a children's book. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 19 '16 at 13:10
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    @swenker I would say "whom" is generally deprecated – Dan Bron Dec 19 '16 at 16:56

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