Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/244

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A Desk-Book of

ever" when written as a solid word. Then it drops the first "e" in "ever" and is correctly "wherever."

whether: Avoid such a locution as "whether or no," which is rapidly gaining ground, and say instead the preferable phrase, "whether or not." Whether properly means "which of two." Therefore, in expressing doubt, make mention merely of the exact thing doubted without using the word whether unless it be to introduce an alternative subject of doubt or a comparison of doubts. Just as either, which is strictly applicable to two only is wrongly applied to more than two, so is whether, which is a contraction of which of either.

which. Compare that, who.

who: Often improperly used for whom: a mark of ignorance when so applied. Do not say "Who do you refer to?" but "To whom do you refer?" Not "Who is that for?" nor "Who did you give it to?" but "For whom is that?" "To whom did you give it?" Compare that, who.

whole, whole of: The whole or whole of should be used before a plural noun carefully, and then only when the body is referred to collectively. In general the word entire would better express the phrase. In such cases all should never be employed, as this relates to the individual of which the body is composed. Thus, one may say, "The whole staff accompanied the general," or (for emphasis) "The whole of the staff," etc., but it would be better to say "The entire staff."