welcome his(him?) eagerly

Fictional

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hello there!


Sentence: There were friends all over London who would welcome his eagerly to their homes, who would throw open their guest rooms and their fridges, eager to condole and to help.
Written by: J.K. Rowling

Why has the writer used his? I think it should be him as it's the object of the verb welcome. What are your thoughts on this?
 
  • roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    It's referencing a phantom noun. Himself and his X (family, cousin, kin, etc). If you change it to "him", it just means the person himself. If we use his--it means (from context) himself and other people.

    An additional example is "We wish you and yours a happy holiday."
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you SwissPete. It's a bit strange to see a typo from such a highly acclaimed writer.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's referencing a phantom noun. Himself and his X (family, cousin, kin, etc). If you change it to "him", it just means the person himself. If we use his--it means (from context) himself and other people.

    An additional example is "We wish you and yours a happy holiday."
    I can't agree that this interpretation of the OP is possible in British English. I would like to see the preceding sentence though. Maybe "his" refers back to something else. I'm inclined to think it's a typo-they creep in everywhere after all.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This is from Mary (Ravenclaw FTW!)’s review of The Cuckoo's Calling on the website GoodReads.com.
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/667225895

    If we’re being honest here, and I believe we should be in this book review, I would have dropped the book early on. It’s not that it’s a bad book, but there are mistakes galore in the first portions of the book. Maybe it’s just my edition, because I can’t imagine these getting past an editor.

    One of the mistakes the reviewer cites is the one discussed here: "I think that’s supposed to be ‘him’, isn’t it?"
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I have a digital edition of the book and it definitely says his. I'm typing the whole paragraph now in case there is something the reviewer and I may have missed.

    But he had not wanted to tell Anstis, and he could not face telling anyone else, not yet. There were friends all over London who would welcome his eagerly to their homes, who would throw open their guest rooms and their fridges, eager to condole and to help. The price of all of those comfortable beds and home-cooked meals, however, would be to sit at kitchen tables, once the clean-pajamaed children were in bed, and relive the filthy final battle with Charlotte, submitting to the outraged sympathy and pity of his friends' girlfriends and wives. To this he preferred grim solitude, a Pot Noodle and a sleeping bag.

    Context: Strike is the man the writer is talking about in the above paragraph. He just broke up with his long time fiancée and left her home. So now he is homeless and looking for a place to stay.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hi! Was he the only one looking for a place or was he finding a place for his family?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The paragraph before that is about the lies his "on again/off again" fiancee would tell and one could stretch a lot and speculate that the "his" refers back to "his (lies)", as opposed to "her lies" that would be "welcomed by friends". However, I agree tht the typo/editorial error is a far more likely explanation!
     
    Last edited:

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Thank you for the context. Unfortunately, in that case, the author did mistype. It should be him.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Don't blame the author. Authors don't produce the final versions of their books. It was the editors or the production staff who either didn't catch, or perhaps even created, the typo. Yes, such things can and do happen.
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Yes, I do realize that now, Parla. But if someone is still learning the language like I am, then sometimes these small typos create a lot of confusion.
     

    Smauler

    Senior Member
    British English
    I can't agree that this interpretation of the OP is possible in British English. I would like to see the preceding sentence though. Maybe "his" refers back to something else. I'm inclined to think it's a typo-they creep in everywhere after all.
    Harry looked at his owl, who looked sick. Hermione's was sick as well. There were friends all over London who would welcome his eagerly to their homes, who would throw open their guest rooms and their fridges, eager to condole and to help.

    Yeah, it is a typo. However, you can put (invented) sentences in front which make the latter sentence make sense. I don't know why you'd put an owl in a fridge, though.
     
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