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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.....)


Tristan <kesuari@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>