The Word Guy / Knowledge

Telling Some 'Folk' Tales

Q. During a recent plane trip, the chief flight attendant repeatedly referred to us passengers as "folks." There was not a single "ladies and gentlemen." But how appropriate is "folks" to begin with? I was taught that "folk" is already plural (...

'Who' or 'Whom'? Heed the Verb

Q: This headline appeared over a newspaper story about anonymous kidney donations: "For whomever needs it most." Is "whomever" correct because it is the object of the preposition "for"? Or should it be "whoever," the subject of "whoever needs it...

Shrubbery on Wall Street

Is there a hedge in "hedge fund"?

Judging from the manicured hedges around the secluded estates of hedge-fund managers in North Greenwich, Connecticut, you might think so. In fact, there is a connection between fancy bushes and financial bets. ...