Readers write: ‘Who’ versus ‘whom,’ GPS adventures, immigration activist

Jonathan Short/Invision/AP/File
It's rare to come across ‘whom’ in the lyrics written by contemporary American musicians. Rapper and singer Drake, pictured above at a concert in June 2015, is no exception.

‘Who’ versus ‘whom’

The May 20 “In a Word” column by Melissa Mohr titled “The waning use of the word ‘whom’” really got my attention. In my school days in England during the 1950s and ’60s it cost you a minus point if your essay contained the word “who” where “whom” was required. So this grammar rule has stayed with me!

During the last few years I have come across this mistake more and more in the print media, including this publication and indeed printed books. However, I admit it is rarely used in speech today (though it does make a good impression if you do).

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the June 17, 2019 weekly magazine.

The song “If I Fell” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney ignores a similar rule:

If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than HER.

In the last verse, her should be she grammatically. But I concede that the correct grammar would have ruined the song!

Gwendoline Haack
Hamburg, Germany

GPS adventures

I’ve so enjoyed Sue Wunder’s Home Forum essays through the years. Her latest piece “On the road, I follow a paper trail” in the May 20 issue of the Monitor Weekly made me laugh out loud because of a recent incident in my own life.

My cousin and I were going to visit a relative in a nearby city. We were traveling in her car, equipped with the latest GPS technology.

Suddenly, the voice of the GPS told us to make an exit we both knew was wrong – so we ignored it and arrived at our destination right on time. My cousin admitted this had happened several times since buying the car.

No, we didn’t use a paper map, but it would have sufficed for sure. Keep ’em coming, Sue!

Carolyn Hill
Portland, Oregon

Immigration activist

I am ashamed for my country but grateful for selfless fellow Americans after reading the April 22 & 29 cover story, “The immigrant crusader,” in which lawyer Marty Rosenbluth seeks justice for immigrants who are just trying to work and raise their families in peace.

I only hope that moral support from the Monitor’s readers will help keep up Mr. Rosenbluth’s spirits. Thanks for Simon Montlake’s deeply interesting coverage of the personal side of the immigration controversy.

Janice Lambert
Charlestown, New Hampshire

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.