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which vs whose Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 1:42:21 PM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity," the African Union mission to the United States said in a blistering statement.

Should I replace "which" with "whose"?

Thanks.
NKM
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:33:27 PM

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Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Koh Elaine wrote:
The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity," the African Union mission to the United States said in a blistering statement.

Should I replace "which" with "whose"?

Thanks.

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No. "Which" makes more sense, because it refers specifically to the comments voiced on this particular occasion rather than to Trump's various other "unfortunate" characterizations. I would, however, change "comment" to "comments", as his crudest expression of disrespect was followed by a statement of his preference for European immigrants.

(By the way, I have never before heard of "infuriation", but it seems exactly the right word for this use!)

IMcRout
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:38:07 PM

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You could do that, but it would change the meaning. The phrase 'which remarks' refers back to 'the unfortunate comment' from earlier on in the sentence. It somehow diplomatically avoids a direct attack of the American President, I feel, whereas 'whose remarks' would have been a more direct accusation.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
thar
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 4:48:22 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Yes, it is a different structure.

'Whose' would directly refer back to the noun:
whose remarks...
=
the remarks of the President...


This is different.
It doesn't replace the noun, it refers back to it, but you actually repeat the noun:

...comments......, which remarks.....


Where 'comments' and 'remarks' are the same thing. In this example, you don't repeat the word, but it is the same thing.

It is an uncommon, literary style. It is probably no coincidence it is written by an African,(who may have a more old-fashioned, higher-register grammatical style) and for an official response. It is not a structure you commonly use in conversation. It is certainly something I would never write.

Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2018 4:00:03 PM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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Thanks to all of you.
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