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What do you call somebody who asks a question and somebody who answers a question?

In a conversation, if person A replies to person B, what do we call A and B?

EDIT: Sorry I wasn't clear. I need to know what to call "A" and "B". I'm involved in a project to create a comment system. So, B makes a comment... A replies to B's comment.

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marked as duplicate by Alenanno, Matt Эллен, MετάEd, Daniel, Mitch Oct 10 '12 at 14:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

More information would be helpful. Did B ask A a question? Or is A giving an unsolicited response? –  J.R. Oct 8 '12 at 10:25

1 Answer 1

For the person who answers, respondent or correspondent are reasonable. (Some of the previous questions mentioned in comments also suggest answerer and interviewee.)

For the enquirer/asker/questioner/interrogator/interviewer, my preference is interlocutor (“A person who takes part in dialogue or conversation” or “man in the middle of the line in a minstrel show who questions the end men and acts as leader”).

Edit: As noted in a comment, and as is quite obvious from first sense in the definition quoted above, interlocutor applies to all persons engaged in a conversation. In following, let first sense denote the first sense mentioned above, ie conversation participant; let second sense denote the second sense mentioned above, ie, minstrel leader; and let other senses refer to less-relevant third or fourth senses like “An interlocutory judgement or sentence” or “Someone who takes part in talks as a representative of another person or organization”.

Regarding the second sense: Merriam-Webster.com includes first and second senses in much the same words as Wiktionary. Wordnik.com has both senses, in slightly different words. Memidex.com shows the following dictionaries (or things resembling dictionaries) as having at least senses one and two: Collins Dictionary, Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster, New World Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Encarta Dictionary. In its quotes of the following dictionaries, Memidex shows at least sense one, with sense two not shown: Oxford Dictionary, Macmillan British Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary.

These lineups suggest that sense two (minstrel leader) of interlocutor is not found in British dictionaries and is commonly found in American dictionaries.

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Interlocutor is rather general and applies to any person exchanging /having a conversation with another person. They are both interlocutors. :) –  Alenanno Oct 8 '12 at 10:58
@Alenanno, of course the first sense of interlocutor applies as you say. The second doesn't; hence your comment might not apply if the question's conversation is among men in a line in a minstrel show. –  jwpat7 Oct 8 '12 at 11:09
There are no secondary meanings, as far as I know, and the NOAD/OED both confirm this. That additional meaning you provide doesn't really apply to the question (or at least it's what it seems to me). On the OALD it gives another meaning (the only dictionary I've seen that does so far), but it still doesn't apply here (synonym of spokesman), not interviewer. –  Alenanno Oct 8 '12 at 12:13
Hi thanks for answering. Is there a better word or noun for person "A" other than respondent or (replier?). The scenario is this: person B makes a comment, A then replies to B's comment –  Nikorasu Oct 8 '12 at 13:06
@Alenanno, see edit re secondary meanings. Nikorasu, perhaps call them all commentators, conversationalists, correspondents. I hesitate to mention it, but if the milieu is entirely informal consider spuds 1,2. –  jwpat7 Oct 8 '12 at 17:06

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