If you are die-hard grammarian who enjoys annoying people with grammar rules, this one’s for you:
When Twitter users open their home pages, they are greeted by an inset box at the top of the screen in which three words appear in gray type: “Who to follow.”
Correct grammar? Certainly not.
Plenty of Twitter users, including members of the blue-checkmarked elite, have complained about that oversight. “The ‘whoms’ put up a good fight, but we ultimately opted for a more natural cadence and the ‘whos’ won out,” says Twitter spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca….
As for when “whom” is appropriate: It is the correct choice if the word is the object of a preposition or a verb, such as in Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The choice should be “who” if the word serves as the subject of a sentence or clause.
Ben Yagoda cares about such matters, as the author of several books on language and a professor of English and journalism at the University of Delaware. Still, he doesn’t insist on 100% whom-compliance either. For Twitter, he says, “It would be worse to say ‘whom to follow.’ It’s so stilted. I mean, here you are on social media with all these exclamation points and whatever.”
Think about it: Would anyone listen to a band called “The Whom”? And for that matter, would the signature phrases of “Ghostbusters” and a certain Bo Diddley song have worked if they read “Whom ya gonna call?” and “Whom Do You Love?”….