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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 297

language it is already virtually extinct. Not only is who used in such constructions as “who did you find there?” where even standard spoken English would tolerate it, but also in such constructions as “the man who I saw,” “them who I trust in” and “to who?” Krapp explains this use of who on the ground that there is a “general feeling,” due to the normal word-order in English, that “the word which precedes the verb is the subject word, or at least the subject form.” 79 But this explanation is probably fanciful. Among the plain people no such “general feeling” for case exists. Their only “general feeling” is a prejudice against case inflections in any form whatsoever. They use who in place of whom simply because they can discern no logical difference between the significance of the one and the significance of the other.
  Whosen, which is still relatively rare, is obviously the offspring of the other absolutes in n. In the conjoint relation plain whose is always used, as in “whose hat is that?” and “the man whose dog bit me.” But in the absolute whosen is sometimes substituted, as in “if it ain’t hisn, then whosen is it?” The imitation is obvious. There is an analogous form of which, to wit, whichn, resting heavily on which one. Thus, “whichn do you like?” and “I didn’t say whichn” are plainly variations of “which one do you like?” and “I didn’t say which one.” That, as we have seen, has a like form, thatn, but never, of course, in the relative situation. “I like thatn” is familiar, but “the one thatn I like” is never heard. If that, as a relative, could be used absolutely, I have no doubt that it would change to thatn, as it does as a demonstrative. So with what. As things stand, it is sometimes substituted for that, as in “them’s the kind what I like.” Joined to but it can also take the place of that in other situations, as in “I don’t know but what.”
  The substitution of who for whom in the objective case, just noticed, is typical of a general movement toward breaking down all case distinctions among the pronouns, where they make their last stand in English and its dialects. This movement, of course, is not peculiar to vulgar American; nor is it of recent beginning. So long