Chicago Style Workout 39: Word Usage, Part 9

Genevieve Clark on the telephone

Do you know “who” from “whom”?

This month’s workout, “Word Usage, Part 9,” finishes our run through the “Glossary of Problematic Words and Phrases” in section 5.250 of CMOS 17. For our usage finale, we’re focusing on words beginning with the letters t as in “that” through w as in “whomever.”

As you take the quiz, keep in mind that we are looking for usage that would be considered technically correct in formal prose (and see our disclaimer below).

Good luck!

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Note: Style guides and dictionaries sometimes disagree. This quiz is designed to test your knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

Chicago Style Workout 39: Word Usage, Part 9

1. that; which. The manuscript _____ the editors submitted to the publisher was well formatted.
2. therefore; therefor. He took the unworn shirt back to the store and received a refund _____.
3. till; ’til. The store was open _____ 10 p.m.
4. tortious; tortuous; torturous. The jury was asked to decide a case of _____ interference with a contract.
5. turbid; turgid; torpid. A _____ economy contributed to a slowdown in sales.
6. unexceptional; unexceptionable. The arguments against scaling the peak were _____, but we chose to climb it regardless.
7. venal; venial. To a proofreader, a typographical error would hardly be considered a _____ offense.
8. whether. They didn’t know whether or not to go.
9. who; whom. I learned nothing about the man _____ I saw walking into my classroom for the first time yesterday.
10. whoever; whomever. Give this book to _____ wants it.


Photo: Genevieve Clark at the telephone, ca. 1910–15, in the George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress. In the text added for this post, “Who” (not “Whom”) is correct because it is the subject of the clause “Who is calling?”

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