English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
What’s the rule for adding -er vs. -or when nouning a verb?
Rules for nominalizing a verb

While reading another question, I started wondering if there's a rule for appending "-er" or "-or" to verbs to make them into people.

I mean, you have worker, keeper, writer, composer, but corrector, addressor, compositor etc.

So is there a rule for which ending to append, or is this just something you have to learn on a case-by-case basis?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Barrie England, Andrew Leach, coleopterist, Carlo_R., jwpat7 Dec 4 '12 at 8:20

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

    
It might be worth noting that in the welding profession, welder refers to the machine, weldor to the person using it. – Jim Dec 4 '12 at 7:37
    
@Jim I guess that's an American thing (see Martha's answer at the duplicate question for Am/Br differences in -or/-er). In BrE, both are welders. – Andrew Leach Dec 4 '12 at 7:41
    
@AndrewLeach- Yes, that is a usage that is being pushed by the American Welding Society. I'm not sure how long ago they started it. – Jim Dec 4 '12 at 7:46
    
@BillFranke Sorry about that. I did search, but not thorough enough, apparently. – Mr Lister Dec 4 '12 at 7:54
    
@MrLister: No problem. I found it with a Google search: first hit on my list. I don't get upset about these things and never expect people to apologize for asking good questions. :-) I posted the comment to let you know where to find the answer. – user21497 Dec 4 '12 at 8:06

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.