Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Compare to "one of the founders".

Does it depend on the specific person you're talking about? Google has 7M+ results for the phrase but I can't search it on NGrams successfully because of the hyphen. (I think.)

share|improve this question
    
the ngrams search for 'co founders' will return both 'co-founders' and 'co founders'. as the later should be insignificantly rare(?) you should be able to get what you need. See ngrams.googlelabs.com/… To validate my claim follow the links in the table below and look at some sample of the text in the actual books. –  Unreason May 30 '11 at 19:52
    
That's strange. Google gives almost 20x as many results for co-founder but there are almost none in comparison on NGrams. –  Ben Alpert May 30 '11 at 19:54
    
The results numbers are fudged. They change to a (slightly) more accurate number once you get deep enough in the search results that they actually calculate how many pages of results there are. –  Matthew Read May 30 '11 at 20:07
    
I can't really understand the question. Why would "one of the co-founders" ever be incorrect? What's the concern exactly? "One of the founders" means something different, so I'm not sure why we're comparing them. (Imagine a meeting of founders of various companies. "One of the founders" means anyone at that meeting. "One of the co-founders" means anyone at that meeting who is a co-founder.) –  David Schwartz Mar 24 '12 at 4:46

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Theoretically, you could be referring to people who could be either "founders of a company" or "founders of companies". In the latter case, the founders could have founded their companies independently, so "co-founders" would be used to indicate that they did not in fact found separately. I think "co-founders" is redundant in virtually all other uses, though.

share|improve this answer

It is a little redundant, but I don't think it is wrong. However, I would be more inclined to say "one of the founders."

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.