Questions about suffixes which create *agent nouns*; see also [tag:agent-nouns].

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7
votes
5answers
8k views

Which is the proper spelling: “Adapter” or “adaptor”?

In my current project we are writing a program to convert a newer protocol to an older one. These conversion programs are being referred to as adapters, but the team cannot agree which spelling to ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Improviser” or “improvisor”?

I'm trying to determine whether I should use the ~er suffix or the ~or suffix for a person who improvises. What I've learned on the web is that technically one should say "improvisor". The ~or suffix ...
4
votes
5answers
37k views

“Vendor” vs. “vender” in Standard American English

Which is preferred? I've always thought that vendor was the only spelling. The question was brought up by a typo, which the Word spellchecker did not correct.
14
votes
6answers
17k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
3
votes
2answers
893 views

What do you call who writes comments? Commenter or commentator?

What should I call a person writing/adding comments (by pressing "add comment" link)? Commenter or commentator? From a deleted answer, I understand that there are commentators (like those ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

“Fermentor” vs. “fermenter”

I am curious to know the correct usage of these words as it seems to be misused often. See http://meta.homebrew.stackexchange.com/q/202/59 for a related question.
13
votes
6answers
22k views

What's the difference between “adviser” and “advisor” — are both interchangeable?

I work for a financial services provider and we deal with "Financial Advisors" all the time. Increasingly, I'm seeing people send emails and so forth with the term "Financial Adviser" and the terms ...
0
votes
3answers
128 views

“Massager” vs “masseuse”

A friend of mine recently used the word masseuse to describe a person that gives massages. I have never heard of this terminology before so I'm wondering what the difference is between massager and ...
26
votes
3answers
22k views

What’s the rule for adding “-er” vs. “-or” when nouning a verb?

What’s the rule to decide whether you add -er or whether you add -or when creating a noun from a verb? Sometimes it’s -er: read > reader hate > hater hit > hitter But other times it’s -or: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

One who creates is a creator. What is one who updates?

One who creates is a creator. What is one who updates? An updater? An updator? The last one seems more logical, but also wrong.
0
votes
3answers
376 views

Coining new words from existing ones: Duplicate last letter?

I am trying to invent a word by taking an existing word and turning it into a noun a person can be called who is interacting with an object. The trouble I ran into was the initial word's ending. ...
4
votes
1answer
796 views

What is the origin of “-ix” as a feminine variation?

Some words are made feminine by altering the suffix to be -ix. Examples: dominator → dominatrix executor → executrix rector → rectrix What is the origin of this variation? From my 5 years of ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Is “bulwarker” an acceptable word?

I'm well aware that bulwark refers to something used as a fortification or a defense. However, I was wondering if the word bulwarker is an acceptable word to use in English. I know it's possible to ...
8
votes
2answers
813 views

Pedlar vs. peddler

The etymonline entry for peddler reads: late 14c. (c.1300 as a surname, Will. Le Pedelare), from peoddere, peddere (c.1200, mid-12c. as a surname), of unknown origin. It has the appearance of an ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

What is the object called that does the activity of collapsing — “collapser” or “collapsor”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the rule for adding -er vs. -or when nouning a verb? I would say collapser or collapsor but neither of these two words can be found on web dictionaries. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
315 views

Is there a word for someone who posts a “comment”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you call who writes comments in this board? Commenter or commentator? Difference between “commentor” and “commentator” Why do we say 'commentator' instead of ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

When is the correct time to use 'granter' or 'grantor'

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 ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a single word for a member of a group who completes a job?

I have a job, for which some people are responsible, say: a, b, c, d and e. If anyone does the job, it is marked as complete. Now let us say c completed the job, so what would I call that person in ...