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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 'x'". 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.

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@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
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.

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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
If you're defining "grantor" using the word "grant", after defining "granter" as someone who does the things that the word "grant" describes... I think you just called them synonyms :) – Chris Subagio Jul 16 '15 at 16:00

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."

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