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.

We have a site where we have people grant each other favors. Within the site, we have copy that says when you grant someone a favor you are a '?'. Should the person who grants a favor to another person be called a 'granter' or a 'grantor'?

It seems from looking at the dictionary that either would fit, but I'm wondering which one is the best to standardize on.

share|improve this question
    
    
@Scott: can you elaborate on "your are a '?'" –  Peter Mortensen Jul 20 '11 at 9:21
    
@Peter Sorry, by the '?' I meant, that is where the word 'grantor' or 'granter' would be added. I used a '?' to be the placeholder since my question is which word should I use in place of it. –  Scott Jul 20 '11 at 15:35
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

So this is essentially the difference between adding an -er to the end of a verb and using the special noun form of a verb (usually formed like -or).

Grant as a verb means:

To give over; to make conveyance of; to give the possession or title of; to convey; -- usually in answer to petition.

So granter would be someone who gives over.

Grantor has the specific meaning of:

A person who grants something

In this case, the two definitions seem to be nearly identical. Since the special noun form has a more specific and narrower meaning, I would say you should prefer it over the less specific and broader verbal form, as long as the meaning of the special noun form fits appropriately.

share|improve this answer
3  
I think the semantic distinction is spurious, regardless of how close or different the two supposed meanings are. They're just alternative spellings. The more common form is grantor, I suspect simply because it's a semi-legal term, and they are often latinate. Verbs with Latin roots often get an -or suffix when converted to nouns, rather than the normal -er. –  FumbleFingers Jul 20 '11 at 3:11
add comment

Generally you'll use "grantor" when you're using very specific legal or financial meanings of the word. (Google it and you'll see a lot of results about selling call or put options, or referring to the person from whom a grant or trust is set up.)

On the other hand, "granter" is a general term you can use to mean "one who grants something."

share|improve this answer
add comment

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.