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Linda’s Grammar Pet Peeves!

Who vs. That

Welcome to the newest “segment” on this blog – Linda’s Grammar Pet Peeves.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m the Queen of Grammar. I did take a grammar class and I had a grammar book when I was in Journalism school but I definitely don’t remember everything learned in that class or all of the technical terms for certain things. I just know that, for the most part, my sentences make sense on that grammatical level.

I don’t think I’m really a Grammar Nazi either. I don’t have a lot of grammar pet peeves but there is one thing that seems to keep coming up and every time it does come up I throw my hands in the air in frustration!

Like I wrote above, I don’t know what the technical term for this would be but what absolutely irks me is when people use “THAT” instead of “WHO” when referring to people!!!

For example:

WRONG:

“He’s someone that totally understands me.”

JDKEAHJKLKJKHDHEJAHEJKHAA *rips hair out*

RIGHT:

“He’s someone who totally understands me.”

*breathes*

The other day I was watching a movie and the “that” instead of “who” came up SO many times I wanted to stop the movie. Lol. I wish I could remember which movie it was so I could go and find the exact examples. But I’ll just make up one more:

WRONG:

“Linda is the one that goes on the computer all the time.”

RIGHT:

“Linda is the one who goes on the computer all the time.”

If the “that” is referring to a person than it should be “who” !!! Use “that” for things.

K, now if you’re ready to tell me that I’m wrong, I did do a little research before hitting the Publish button on this blog and I found that “that” can be and is used to refer to people as well but it is not preferred. Apparently it is arguable that “that” can be used as a pronoun for people but it’s then arguable that it isn’t the best pronoun to use for the smoothest flowing sentence.

I don’t know. The more I think about it and the more I google it the more exceptions and buts and etceteras keep popping up so I’m just going to stop and leave this as is. I will never be okay to use “that” instead of “who” when referring to a person!!

Anyway, let me know if you agree with my pet peeve. Or if I’m totally wrong. Or if you’re guilty of doing that and maybe because of this you’ll strive to be more aware of whether you’re using “who” or “that” properly in your future sentences? ha ha.

Linda :)

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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January 4, 2011
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1 Comment

  • Sirthinks

    The misuse of THAT is definitely my biggest pet peeve. Okay, my biggest pet peeve is really the misuse of WHOM!!

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LINDORK