Recently in the BC legislature, the INSOMNIA CURE — Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver blasted the NDP government in the house recently for “shocking, reckless indifference” — to the rules of grammar.
Debating a “minor corrections” bill that makes exactly what the title implies to a host of bills, he found one that correctly changes “whom” to “who.” But later on, in the Farm Practices Protection Act, a glaringly offensive “whom” was left untouched.
“Shame on the government for missing this,” he joked.
This exchange was heard in passing:
“Who?” Attorney General David Eby dove right into this.
“Of whom do you speak? No not whom, who you idiot. Don’t you know the difference? Who is a subject, whom is the object.”
“You are being objectionable.”
“Who? Me?” Eby retorted. “Listen the further and further you go down this rabbit hole the worse it will get.”
“Oh yeah, for who? For you or for him. Whom?”
“No you idiot you can’t say farther. You have to say further.”
“No,no, no, not who, you have to say whom. Merriam says so”
“No, no, no, its who’s Merriam”
“Yeah, just what I said: whose Merriam”
“And besides you can’t write its like that. Its should be it’s if thats what your saying?”
“You’re, not your.”
“What?” say Eby
“And besides you can’t say further down the rabbit hole. You have to say farther. Farther denotes distance, real distance. Further is metaphorical don’t you know. It is better to say farther in this case then further?”
“Who is Webster. Or who’s Webster. Not whose. Its better then that.”
“Then who. You can’t say then. You have to say than, comparatively speaking youse doorknob.”
“Whose calling me a doorknob. Who do you speak of.”
“Eee gads. Its wrong I tell you, its wrong.”
“Its or it’s. Than versus then. Further vs farther, who vs whom, who’s vs whose. Im going nuts.”
“I’m going nuts. Not Im going nuts, you hoser.”
“Whose calling me hoser.”
All of this while debating whose’s bill.
“Whose Bill? No bill you idiot. Shouldn’t that be who’s bill.”
“No you idiot. Bill Whoose. The Minister of Edumacation.”
All of the above reminds me just how difficult the English language can be, especially to someone learning it. Consider this:
Take the word “nit.” The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines “nit” as a stupid person, a louse. Then add the letter “k” before the “n” and you have “knit.” Yet the word “nit” from the word “knit” is a whole different kettle of fish. And what is that anyway: a kettle of fish?
Now, let’s take the word “wit:” defined as someone with a sharp sense of humour, a player of words perhaps. As in “that man possesses wit. He has a sharp mind.” But then add the letter “t” before the “w” and you have “twit.” Or, combine the word “nit” with the word “wit” and you have a “nitwit.” But “nit” and “twit” together does not sound quite right – “nit-twit?”
Nonetheless, given that a “nit” is already defined as a stupid person, and “wit” is someone who has a sharp mind, then “nitwit” defiles all logic in a descriptive sense except perhaps to define someone who possesses a stupid “wit” – which in itself is oxymoronic. But “dimwit” already has that locked up. Yet what is really frustrating about the undercurrent of this word is that “dimwit” is the opposite of someone who has a sharp “wit.” So, that being the case, let’s call him or her a “blunt-sharp” person!
To make matters worse a “twit” could be someone who has a sharp “wit,” and is still a “nitwit” or a “dimwit.” So why can’t we call him or her a nit-twit? Or a “dim-twit”? The bottom line is that “nitwit” or “dimwit” sounds better. The other bottom line is that English words are just downright confusing without context and a shared understanding of the contextual environment we are communicating in.
English grammar class is over for the day.
SJ……………..Out………………….Happy Mondaze to all youse people out there.