Saturday, September 10, 2011

"That" or "Who" - THAT is the question!

I read a lot!  When I read poor grammar it stops me.  Sometimes it will be a certain word that I think is misused, but when I begin to see this same usage over and over, I start to wonder, is it wrong, or is it me?  Such a word is "that" when used after a person.  For example, "the woman that sat next to me...."  This seems improper to me.  I believe it should be "the woman who sat next to me...."  The rule for me is "who" after humans, "that" after objects.  However, in all the writing I've read over the past months, at least 75% of the writers seem to prefer "that".  It has become so commonplace I'm questioning my thinking about this. If this resonates with you, please comment.  I still think the majority has it wrong, but I'd love to hear other points of view.


  1. "Who" is correct. People are "who," and things are "that." More and more authors are using "that" because they haven't been educated properly.

  2. I couldn't agree more!! But I see "that" used the majority of the time. Recently I asked an English teacher, and although she preferred "who", she said that these words are now interchangeable, and therefore equally correct. I will still say "who" when a human is involved, but I think I'm in the minority.


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