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First, there is a trend towards saying "the guy that wrote it..." when "who" is correct.

That is not so, twice. First, the use of "who" for "that" is relatively new in English check the King James Bible ("He that hath clean hands") or someone as recent (and colloquial) as Don Marquis ("An optimist is a guy that has never had much experience"). In between you'll find such folk as Walt Whitman and Mark Twain (those are all examples that fell into hand from a single source). Second, there is no right or wrong on this matter. The use of "who" as a sort of politeness when a person is being referred to is a pleasantry, and one I myself happen to like, but "That" is never wrong, while "who" is, at least in some uses, dubious.
Case in point: the style preferred by most careful writers is to use "which" for nonrestrictive clauses and "that" for restrictives:

Geese that fly high are a risk to aviation.
Geese, which fly high, are a risk to aviation.
Simple, clear, and helpful. But now substitute a person and require a corresponding "who":
Aviators who fly high experience many risks.
Aviators, who fly high, experience many risks.
Many thoughtful writers are not happy with the loss of distinction in those forms, and will use "that" in castings such as the first of those two sentences.
But there are also questions of sheer felicity. On the one hand, "The man that was" puts two th sounds (with which the tongue is over-supplied) in proximity, and has a sing-song quality; "the man who was" sounds and reads better. On the other hand, Marlowe's "Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" would sound ungainly indeed with "who" in place of "that".
In short, there are not, and never have been, clear-cut rules for choosing "who" over "that" or vice-versa. The choice is a matter of personal style and ear.
A coworker ... used the word supposably (sic) ...

There is nothing wrong with "supposably".
NSOED records:
supposably adv. (chiefly US) as may be supposed; presumably: M19.

Even if it lacked the repectability granted by an entry in the dictionary it would be a perfectly acceptable nonce-word.
Note that word "may" in the definition. If something is "supposable" it is rather more hypothetical than if it were actually "supposed".

Cheers,
Daniel.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
A few sloppy (common) pronunciations: Tempeture Vetinarian Probly Comfterbul (this is the worst one, other than vetinarian)

Proply
Plice
Wensday
Libry
.. the list is endless. I've even seen people /write/ "prolly" for "probably".

Cheers,
Daniel.
A few sloppy (common) pronunciations: Tempeture Vetinarian Probly Comfterbul (this is the worst one, other than vetinarian)

Proply Plice Wensday Libry .. the list is endless. I've even seen people /write/ "prolly" for "probably". Cheers, Daniel.

I agree. They should write it "probly".

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
1) You are listening to a phone conversation between someone in the room with you and a person, unknown to you, on the "other end". When your friend hangs up, you (or somebody) says

you says??
"What did "they " want. Obviously, the question should have been "What did he,

no comma
or she want?", but the usage

use
of that disgraceful

comma
poor grammar is "common usage".

Grammatically correct for donkey's years.
2) There is a TV commercial in the U.S., for an optical supplier, that says "In the future, everyone will protect their eyes with..." In the past, before "women's lib"

comma
the statement would have been "protect his eyes...". Now, we would say "protect his, or her eyes.." (I would think.)

See above. Who is "we"?
3) The receptionist at your company answers the phone and the caller wants to speak with a salesman. The salesmen are all out making sales calls. She says "None are here right now."

Grammatically correct, period.
Next!
Adrian
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
1) You are listening to a phone conversation between someone ... end". When your friend hangs up, you (or somebody) says

you says??

Sez who? Sez I! (Ernie Boch!)
Redundant question mark.

No comma is required.

Which thing above? You're not being specific enough.
Who is "we"?

3) The receptionist at your company answers the phone and ... making sales calls. She says "None are here right now."

Grammatically correct, period.

Spelling out the name of the punctuation mark adds nothing, and is bad form.
Next!

Indeed. You might do well to pick your own nits before offering the service to others.
My whole post is about "accepted" pronunciations. Common usage and ... future, real-a-tor and nu-cu-lar may turn up as accepted pronunciations.

Jack, I agree with you. We English-speakers might be forgiven for feeling a tad supercilious that we do not have ... In other words, if some word ‹ perhaps "their" ‹ became officially accepted as a substitute for "his or her"

You've just set an impossible standard of acceptability. No person, organization, or group is in charge of officially accepting a usage into the English language, so there can never be official acceptance. If people use a given word or phrase for a given purpose, and if, after a while, they use it without objection, then the usage has been accepted into the language. During the transition you are likely to encounter objections from some folk and acceptance from others, and sometimes, as I pointed out in an earlier post, a word or usage can get "skunked."(1) And sometimes a perfectly ordinary usage suddenly comes under fire; ending prepositions are one such example. But the language changes, so the process must work.
Singular "they" seems to have passed without comment for centuries before coming under attack. The attack isn't completely irrational, but all it's done is leave the language with no good singular gender-free pronoun. The topic is such a chestnut on the usage groups that the AUE FAQ actually asks people not to bring it up. (item 1).
I mean, the language is already in a bit of difficulty when we note that the feminine equivalent of "his" could be "her" or "hers" depending on context.

What's weird about that? Different inflections, in English as in other languages, can have the same form or different forms. In many Latin declensions, the dative and ablative plural have the same form, and the neuter nominative and accusative always have the same form. In English, the nominative and accusative of "it" are both "it," but the corresponding forms for "he" are "he" and "him." First person genitive can be "my" or "mine" depending on position in the sentence, just as with "her" and "hers." No big whoop. We'll probably lose all case forms in another century or less anyway.
JoeTaxpayer:‹

'Irregardless' is becoming an accepted variant.

God, I hope not.

I know there are some people who use it unself-consciously, but most people still edit it out or correct it in speech if they are entitled to correct the user. If one of my children had used it when young, I'd have told them to eschew it. On the other hand, you also encounter it in facetious use you'll find it so used in many posts to the usage groups. Here's an instance of me doing it: . You can find many more, from other participants, with a proper search. That doesn't mean that we don't also have discussions of whether it's "really" a word (whatever that means) and whether it ought to be used. Of course, the discussions are inevitably inconclusive. Like this one.
Jack again:‹

As far as "coworker" is concerned, I saw a post ... problems. She placed the hyphen between "cow" and "orker" accidentally.

This is so funny.

"Cow-orker" is another standard facetious use in the usage groups. You might also want to look up "mizzled."
Unless the writer were

"Was." It's not impossible for the writer to be saddled with a Windows PC. Indeed, it's quite likely.
saddled with a Windows PC (Talk about dumbing down!) whose* word-processing algorithms sometimes place a hyphen in a journalist's text to tidy up the end of a line.

Only if you let them. I switch off almost all of MSWord's varoius electronic crutches. I decide whether a hpyhen is used and where, not some software. (I use MSWord because that's all my employer will let me use. At home I'm still humming along with WP6.1, which has never been bettered.
Then he/she edits the text further, moving the broken word to the middle of a line but the hyphen does not disappear.

That's some really shitty software.
*highlighting another difficulty in English. Two, actually. First, there is a trend towards saying "the guy that wrote it..." when ... word-processing algorithms of which..." damned clumsy, in my opinion. So I use "who" even for inanimates and I don't blush.

There's nothing wrong with "whose" here, even though some people think there is. And it doesn't depend on whether "who" would be appropriate; "whose" can be used for "of which" without blushing. Even H.W. Fowler found nothing objectionable about it.
Eric Walker has said all else that needed saying about "that," "which," and "who."
But then I lately hear the BBC saying, more and more often, "Harris" when they mean "Harass" and a common Americanism that makes me grumpy "adverTISEment".

Look up the pronounciation of "harass" in a British dictionary. Here's a start: You're objecting to something that's completely standcard.
Joe had the gloomiest news in the thread:‹

Indeed, to my horror, nuke-U-lar is accepted. Homer Simpson has done this to us.

Joe, I don't think it was Homer, i think it was Shrubya.

Eisenhower. See my prior post.
"Statistics" is another word that some people consantly

Typo, right? Surely you don't pronounce, let alone spell, it this way.
stumble on. Not to mention "Ceausescu".

Foreign names follow their own rules. Try sometime to find as many English transliterations as you can of the name of Libya's ruler. Then look up the pronounciations of Lima, Ohio; Peru, Indiana; Cairo, Illinois; Buena Vista, Virginia: and Valparaiso, Indiana.
Well, while I'm on a roll, why does the BBC (indeed, most of the UK) insist on saying "nick-a-rag-you-uh" when the locals say something aspproaching "neec-a-rahh-gwah" with the "g" almost absent.

Because that's how British speakers pronounce the word. Why don't BBC announcers say Paree and Bearleen and Mosskva and Roma and Varsavazza?
I think we have an obligation to try to pronounce place-names the way the locals do.

Not at all. This is another frequent usage group topic, and one on which there is a soldl consensus, which is that speakers of English are entitled to anglicize the pronunciation of any foreign name. And it's not just English speakers who domesticate foreign names: you might want to look up the terms used in other languages for the likes of England and London.
Robert Lieblich had the last word:‹

Youse guys are just gonna hafta learn that English as She is Spoke

Hey, I wrote a complete sentence. Youse guys circumcised it.
That's Strine, right, Robert? Owyagoinmateorright?

Not so. I'm a Murric'n.
Oh no, the last word is mine: "mis-cheevious"

Homogenous, anyone?
(1) Consider "decimate." Its etymological meaning is "destroy one-tenth," but it is commonly used simply to mean "destroy a large percentage." Some people insist on the literal meaning and object to the common usage, but even more people have never heard of the literal meaning and are quite content with the common usage. So whichever way you use it, some people are going to object (or at least be puzzled) and others will allow it to pass without comment. On top of which, in the case of "decimate" it's possible to use it so that people encountering it who know both meanings can't tell which is intended: "The battalion was decimated in the battle." If you want to aggravate (another skunked word) the situation, try "The battalion was literally decimated in the battle."

Bob Lieblich
The Great Weight of Authority (but on a diet)
The attack (on singular "they") isn't completely irrational, but all it's done is leave the language with no good singular gender-free pronoun.

One could, of course, argue that it has never had one, and that prior uses of the form were as wrong then as now. Otto Jesperson, the famed linguist who, I believe, is beloved of modern descriptivists, observed that "In the third person it would have been very convenient to have a common-sex pronoun, but as a matter of fact English has none and must use . . . makeshift expedients . . ." (as quoted by Gowers in The Complete Plain Words ).
But much more to the point, the need is not a screaming one: the occasions on which it is impossible or even ungainly to avoid the thing are few indeed, and that being so(1) the infrequent use of the form "he or she" is not a major tax.
(1) As demonstrated at http://owlcroft.com/english/they.shtml
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
(snip)
Otto Jesperson, the famed linguist who, I believe, is beloved of modern descriptivists[/nq]"5. To bring out clearly one of these points I select at random, by way of contrast, a passage from the language of Hawaii: "I kona hiki ana aku ilaila ua hookipa ia mai la oia me ke aloha pumehana loa." Thus it goes on, no single word ends in a consonant, and a group of two of more consonants is never found. Can any one be in doubt that even if such a language sound pleasantly and be full of music and harmony the total impression is childlike and effeminate? You do not expect much vigour or energy in a people speaking such a language; it seems adapted only to inhabitants of sunny regions where the soil requires scarcely any labour on the part of man to yield him everything he wants, and where life therefore does not bear the stamp of a hard struggle against nature and against fellow creatures." (p.3)

Jespersen, Otto. (1972) Growth and Structure of the English Language , Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 9th edition.
I'm not sure what exactly he's implying here, but it doesn't seem very complimentary to the Hawaiians. He further goes on to say that English, with its consonant and double-consonant rimes, requires a people who are strong and energetic. The rest of his book is great for its time and gives a very acceptable account of English's history, etc, but that section really made me step in surprise.
Also note that it's "Jespersen" with an "e" not an "o" at the end.
And I haven't forgotten about compiling the "The jug has water in it" results. Other things (including a delay in getting enough responses) has held me up.

johnF
"We do not have to believe this stuff, just because it was said centuries or millennia ago by immensely famous men."
Educating Eve , Geoffrey Sampson
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