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a friend of mine.(a)Mandatory with pronouns.In most possessiveof-constructions, the use ofa noun in the objective case is defensible (see 10.6) and even preferred bysome authorities. Not so with personal pronouns: the use of the objectivecase is always a glaring error. When showing possession withof+ a
personal pronoun, always use the pronoun’s absolute-possessive form.Ex.: He was a friend of mine. (Obviously nota friend of me.)Ex.: Telling the truth was never a strong point of yours.(b)To intensify.This construction can have an intensifying connotation,frequently negative, when the prepositional phrase follows a demonstrativepronoun (this,that,these,those) and a class noun.Ex.: That boy of hers is always getting into trouble.Ex.: This interrogatory of yours is just a burdensome fishing expedition.Ex.: Who could ever forget that moving speech of his?10.19 Use the relative pronounwhoto refer to people only (althoughwhosemayrefer to things as well);whichto refer to things or animals only; andthatto refer to either people or things (or both).(a)“That” with people.Whilewhois often the better choice when referringto people,thatis perfectly proper as well, especially when referring togroups of people taken collectively. It is mandatory to usethatwhenreferring to people and things combined.Ex.: The senators who had voted against the bill celebrated their victory.188Ex.: It was the Senate that killed the bill.Ex.: It was the farm-state Republicans who killed the bill.Ex.: It was a handful of lobbyists and their bankrolls that turned public opinion against the bill.(b)“Which” with things.Do not usewhichto refer to people; if the clause isnonrestrictive, usewho.Ex.: The class of plaintiffs is composed of former customers of the bankrupt company, many ofwhom lost their entire savings. (Reference to people, soof whomrather thanof which.)Ex.: A bloc of East Coast senators who had supported the bill tried to bring it up for anothervote. (Reference to people—senators.)Ex.: A bloc of East Coast senators, which had supported the bill, tried to bring it up for anothervote. (Reference to a thing—bloc.)Ex.:The Capitol dome, which was built in 1882, will be restored next year. (Reference to athing.)(c)“Whose” with things.It is permissible to usewhoseto meanof which.Ex.: The Capitol dome, whose completion was celebrated in 1882, was recently restored.10.20 For relative pronouns referring to anything other than people, usethattointroduce a restrictive clause andwhich(after a comma) to introduce anonrestrictive clause.
(a)Restrictive clause.A restrictive (or defining) clause is one that is essentialto the meaning of the sentence. In the preceding sentence, for example, theclausethat is essential to the meaning of the sentenceis essential to themeaning of the sentence, so it is a restrictive clause. It identifies the type ofone(clause) that this sentence is about from the universe of all clauses. Usethatorwhoto introduce a restrictive clause, and do not set off the clausefrom the rest of the sentence by commas, em-dashes, or parentheses.