Speaking of words…

Or “speaking with words”…

Dr. Frank links to an article about the disappearance of “whom” from spoken English. (Certainly, that’s occurred to me.) The article reminds me of one of my favorite bad song lyrics.

In the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” Mick sings, “exactly whom I’m supposed to be.” I think it’s funny because it sounds like he’s trying to be grammatically correct. But of course, he isn’t. “Whom” is the objective case of “who” and should be used as a direct object of a transitive verb or the object of a preposition. But in Mick’s lyric, the verb is the intransitive “to be” which takes the nominative case of “who.”

The grammatically correct lyric would be “exactly who I’m supposed to be.”

I told you I was a nerd.

It’s like when people are trying to talk all proper-like and they say “between you and I.”