Here's a somewhat bold statement: the word 'whomever' is largely irrelevant in today's language, so I'm happy to replace it with the equally valuable and far more commonly used 'whoever' in Feather Three's designs. I'm aware that this is technically 'incorrect' grammar by traditional standards. 

If you don't like it, I suggest you buy one of the other wonderful products here, where the grammar is unambiguously correct. There are plenty!

Why does this matter?

Well, on the whole, it probably doesn't, but since you're still here reading this article, I'll step onto my proverbial soapbox for a moment and lecture you about it. It's what you came here for, right? Thought so.

What we imagine prescriptivists look like when they see the shirt...

Regarding grammar, there are two major approaches: Descriptive and Prescriptive. Prescriptive grammarians (yes, grammarians, such fancy, much grammar) generally concern themselves with establishing rules for how language should be used.

Think of your 6th-grade teacher explaining ironclad punctuation rules to your distracted tween brain. For prescriptivists, there's a right and a wrong way, and most people don't know the difference. And starting a sentence with 'and' (like this one!) is definitely the wrong way. If you twitched a little when you read that, you might be a prescriptivist.

On the other hand, descriptive Grammarians tend to analyze how language is used by those who speak it and generalize rules from studying those interactions. They tend to be more interested in finding out how a particular group of people talk than deciding whether or not it is proper grammar.

Think of the zenned-out guy in your college dorm who, with absolutely no prompting, would point out that "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a grammatically correct sentence, technically speaking, and therefore all language is actually relative and negotiated, and then clearly sentences themselves are actually just useless constructs. Yes, I rolled my eyes a bit at him, too.

Every time grammar gets brought up.

The truth of the grammar is that both perspectives are locked in a mutually beneficial grappling match, dependent on one another — language exists on the knife's edge between the two. We need the prescriptivists to give us some order in the world. This is useful for teaching and for reducing the functionally infinite possible complexities that could ensue if everyone developed their own personal flavors of official grammar. The descriptivists keep the prescriptivists moored to the reality of what is happening as 7 billion people constantly re-negotiate the language they embody and breathe. 

That was a lot, huh? Yeah, I'm kinda tired just writing all of that. 

The upshot here is that in the case of 'whomever', I think the descriptivist position is right: it's slowly fading into the musty past. Current language and culture are bending away from the utility of making the direct object of who into 'whom.' In formal language (manuals, speeches, your snooty aunt's tirades), we still see it used and probably will for years to come. However, in a casual or informal context, it's increasingly common to see the equally good 'whoever' in use. It's more efficient (no pesky 'm' to type out) and keeps the user from seeming unnecessarily snooty or outdated. Wins all the way around. 

Ultimately, I would rather Feather Three as a brand seem playfully casual than stuffily proper. Sometimes that means I have to break grammar rules and be okay with it. 

I hope you're okay with it too! 

If not... well, I still read every customer email, so go ahead and send some vitriol-laden messages about how people like me are what's wrong with society and that I'm rotting the minds of our youths, one misused word at a time. 

I'll respond, whoever or whomever you are! 

Happy dancing!

- Joel T

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