I’m already pulling my hair out just thinking about this. Why? Because all hope is lost in this case. Seriously. Hopefully you at least know what I’m referring to without me even being specific just yet. Who/that has got to be right up there with the most common mistake people make in speech or writing. EVERYONE says/writes it incorrectly over and over and over every single day. Let me tell you what I’m talking about.
“Chad is the one that plays baseball.”
“Chad is the one WHO plays baseball.”
How hard is that to understand?! You cannot refer to Chad as “that.” But if you watch your local evening news, they will. If you watch your favorite TV show, they will. If you watch ESPN, they will. If you’re in casual conversation with your friend, you will. Happens way too much to ever change.
The funny thing is that a few years ago I was the same. I’d make the same mistake dozens of times a day. Guess what happened? I did it in a technical paper like three times. The professor first explained the error. And proceeded to question if I had any idea what he was talking about when he corrected me. It was an online class. But I did. And now I experience the same feeling he did when he came across the same error over and over again in my paper.
I’m not even going to ask if you misuse these two words…because you almost certainly do.