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

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5
votes
3answers
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
30k 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
16k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
2
votes
2answers
782 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
6k 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.
10
votes
6answers
16k 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
98 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
17k 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
956 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
347 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
641 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
126 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
693 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
157 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
275 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 ...