Re: CHAT: which's
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 11:47|
John Cowan wrote:
> Nik Taylor scripsit:
> > They do? I don't think I've ever heard "which's" used for "whose" from
> > a native speaker. It just sounds hideous to me.
> To me too, but corpus evidence (viz. Google) is awfully convincing.
>What were some of the citations???
Nevertheless, even if 20,000,000 say it is right, it is still wrong. I
grant you I'm a pedant, but in my long & varied life, I've never encountered
it in print. Aargh. I wonder what Fowler has to say on the subject, Strunk
and White, the Chicago Manual; even that marvel of modern academic
turgidity, the MLA manual.
Possible exs IMHO:
"...a metal whose properties are unknown..."
"...a metal of which the properties are unknown..." or
"...a metal the properties of which are unknown..."
*******"...a metal which's properties are unknown..."
As for Andreas' original "which's" for "which is", my suspicion is that
"which" simply does not enter into written contractions-- even though in its
unstressed pronunciation [WitS@z] it might appear to be one. Same with
"which're" = which are--- it just isn't done. OTOH something like
"wouldn't've", also reflecting the usual pronunciation [wUdn=t@v]-- might
well occur in a novel or story that was trying to indicate colloquial or
relaxed speech ("wouldn't of..." would be an alternative writing but
probably wouldn't get past a good editor).
But I believe there is (or at least was) a general rule in proper written
work against piling contraction on contraction. (I seem to recall a recent
"I'ven't"?? in one of A's posts, which also got commented on.....)