A word to the wise: Whomever is even more of a vogue word than whom. Many use it indiscriminately to sound cultured, figuring that no one will know any better.

What the of a has been placed there and what if I remove it will have effect on it?
Also, explain the absolute phrase meaning in the bold part.

  • 3
    It's at least credible (though significantly less common) to use just a rather than of a in such contexts, but no article at all would normally be seen as a reliable indication of "non-native speaker". The highlighted phrase adjectivally modifies use it - it means that (while they are pretentiously using whomever), many people assume/think/figure no-one will know better than them how to use it, so they won't be likely to say anythying if it's being used wrongly (which it often is, obviously). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 27 '16 at 13:02
  • @FumbleFingers All righty now. You write: ...figure no-one will know better than them how to use it... If it ought to be better than they, and they comes naturally, should a speaker then intentionally use them to avoid enraging the plebs? ( :) ) – P. E. Dant Aug 27 '16 at 20:29
  • @P. E. Dant: I'd really like to say you know better than I in such matters, but I simply can't bring myself to break the habit of a lifetime (my universe is all about "Me, me, me!" :) The only time I'm prepared to stop linguistically objectifying others is when it's We vs They in the column headings of a bridge score card - in everything else, it's either us against them or it's me against you (and I don't care how many of youse there are! :) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 28 '16 at 11:52

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