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 unilaterally commentating or closing questions) and commenters (those entering in discussion with others). Is it correct?

Isn't commenting by answering/questioning another commenter/answerer/questioner a live event? And what is the difference in these definitions between a commentator and an answerer?


2 Answers 2


Commenter, for sure, unless somebody is reporting on a live event. According to the Oxford American English Dictionary:


Verb: Report on an event as it occurs, esp. for a news or sports broadcast; provide a commentary.

  • I don't foresee anyone commenting on a live event in this case!
    – Noldorin
    Feb 4, 2011 at 21:49
  • I updated my question. Why had I been given the badge "Commentator: left 10 comments". Does it depend on amount of comments? Feb 6, 2011 at 21:39
  • @GennadyVanin--ГеннадийВанин I realize this answer is long in coming, but it's just a play on words. Jan 28, 2013 at 9:02

I'm not keen on the choices offered. A commentator is one who gives on-the-scene reports of news events (whether recorded video or live tv). A person who writes comments (here, I believe we're talking about periodicals) is usually referred to as a 'columnist'. E.g., the UK Telegraph online has their columnists listed under the heading 'commentary'. It would never occur to me to call these writers commentators/commenters. They are columnists dispensing opinions.

  • 1
    The OP explicitly asks about people who are clicking the add comment link on a website to leave a comment, which presumably excludes people who write columns for periodicals.
    – choster
    Jul 2, 2014 at 0:39

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