I am currently writing an essay in response to a lengthy quotation by the authors of a book, and struggling for a concise way to refer to the authors. The book title does not feature in the question text, so I feel that "the authors" would be an unhelpful term - particularly as the subject is theology, so I am using the term author in another context already.

I have a tight word limit and a dislike of clumsy phraseology, so I'm not really happy using accurate but ugly phrases such as "people who made the statement"; ideally I would like to reference them within the flow of a sentence. Below is a sentence where I've put "authors", and would like a good alternative:

This being the case, it is likely that more people are being tarred with the authors’ “single model of atonement” brush than is really fair.

I suspect that there may be several answers that are technically correct, but I'll know the right one for this essay when I see it! If anyone posts an answer that fits the question but doesn't fit my usage, I'll edit the question to clarify.

  • 1
    More people are likely being tarred by this "single-model-of-atonement"-brush than is really fair.
    – Jim
    May 13, 2015 at 22:16
  • 1
    When in doubt, name the specific thing you are referring to. This being the case, it is likely that more people are being tarred with the “single model of atonement” brush of Zao and Mbuntu than is really fair. May 13, 2015 at 22:24
  • @Jim, thanks for the rephrase. It won't really work in my situation through no fault of yours. The trouble is that the quotation in the essay title is very long (100 words, 3 sentences) so any solution based on a demonstrative or definite article, assuming that the reader remembers the language of the quote, is likely to founder. Still, do please put your comment as an answer, as it may well be the best suggestion when all's said and done, and if so I'll accept it.
    – almcnicoll
    May 13, 2015 at 22:27
  • @Cerberus - it's clear, but don't you think it sounds clumsy? Perhaps it's just me. I don't like compound adjectival structures on both sides of a noun. Good suggestion, though - and again, I may decide to use it if I can't find a single noun to describe what I'm after.
    – almcnicoll
    May 13, 2015 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Proponent(s) would be a great fit.

From Oxford's entry:

proponent (noun)
a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project

A very similar word that works is proposer(s).

  • And that, I believe, is the word I was looking for. It was niggling away somewhere at the back of my brain, but whenever I went for it, I kept getting "protagonist"!
    – almcnicoll
    May 13, 2015 at 23:03
  • @almcnicoll Awesome! I encourage you to vigorously rummage through thesaurus.com in the future. That's how I found this word. Just start with a basic word like author and eventually you'll find what you need.
    – Adam
    May 13, 2015 at 23:05
  • I do normally - but didn't think to start at author. I went from "statement" but didn't get far enough clearly!
    – almcnicoll
    May 13, 2015 at 23:08

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