My latest peeve is in regard to “who’s” versus “whose.” People sometimes confuse the two. I’m not sure why; perhaps people simply aren’t proofreading their posts and tweets before sharing them. It’s a possibility. It also could be that people truly have forgotten the difference between the two words.
“Who’s” is a contraction for “who is.” The word is commonly heard when the doorbell rings, and nobody feels inclined to answer the door. Everybody starts to query, “Who’s at the door?” If somebody were to open the door, the answer would be readily apparent, but that ruins the mystery of whom is at it.
“Whose” is the possessive form of “who.” This particular word is popular in elementary school, especially with teachers: “Whose sweater is this?” The teachers are met with silence because no one is going to claim ownership to the hideous sweater that was purchased by his or her grandma.
“Who’s” and “whose” can appear together, which could be problematic for people who struggle to choose the correct word and spelling of it. The appearance is relatively rare. For instance, it could occur during a retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” One of the characters, probably Papa Bear or Mama Bear, could ask, “Who’s eating whose porridge?” The question is grammatically correct, but it sounds a little funny. I doubt either bear is going to ask it. They’re simply going to chase Goldilocks out the door.
I hope that grammar discussion clears any lingering confusion regarding the two words. “Who’s” is a contraction; “whose” is a possessive. They don’t mean the same thing, nor should they be mistaken for the other. It could lead to all sorts of problems for the bears and Goldilocks.
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