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

Assuming it would even be a word, how would I describe someone or something that "deletes": deleter or deletor?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Mar 9 '12 at 23:56

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  • RegDwight, closer, shouldn't you link to the exact duplicate? – Josh M. Mar 10 '12 at 0:24
  • 2
    The link is just above your question. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 10 '12 at 8:17
  • Deleter – Timmmm Sep 5 '18 at 14:23

I have not found either word in a dictionary, nor am I familiar with them in everyday English.

You could use eraser.

a person or thing that erases.

Where erase means, among other things:

To remove (data) from computer storage.

But as FumbleFingers says, it makes more sense to name it after the whole function of the object. E.g. File eraser.

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    I don't think I'd even recommend OP to use eraser. It's so commonly used to mean either the plastic/rubber thingy you use to erase pencil marks on paper, or the cloth/felt pad for erasing chalk marks on a blackboard, that any other usage would probably look odd. I'd stick to using the appropriate descriptive phrase for the exact context. It's the erase head on magnetic tape recorders, for example. – FumbleFingers Mar 9 '12 at 23:01
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    @FumbleFingers agreed, updated – Matt E. Эллен Mar 9 '12 at 23:14
  • Actually, 'eraser' is particularly a US English and possibly Canadian English term, for what's called a 'rubber' in most other forms of English. – Michael Scheper Oct 9 '15 at 22:51
  • Sure, but rub out is not an idiomatic way to say you are deleting something. I only works in contexts with a physical action, like on a white board, or a piece of paper. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 10 '15 at 8:40
  • In US English, a "rubber" is a condom, so be careful! – bubbleking Oct 16 '15 at 20:31

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