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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 there some other word that I'm not aware?

I'm listing all action elements of a particular web page of which some are buttons, links etc. and some provide section collapsing.


Suppose you have a page with two sections: 1. a master list of elements 2. details section below/beside it

The first one is always displayed but details are initially collapsed. There is this details collapser element that when clicked expands details section and asynchronously (Ajax) loads details of the selected item in the master list.

The idea is to name the element (likely has some icon or arrow that provides visual clue related to collapsing/expansion) that performs details section collapsing/expansion. I'm currently calling it details collapser.


1 Answer 1


Sounds like you are describing an accordion while this term may not be known to the user it is at least fairly descriptive (assuming they know what a real accordion is) and without a better term from the users vocabulary I'd stick with the technical term.

EDIT: so its not an accoridan but actually something else (I'm not really sure what?), but I think I'd still use the technical term for the actual control you are trying to describe. e.g. if it is a button that expands/collapses details I'd call it the detail button not a detail collapser (this does assume the component hasn't been overly styled to not look like what it is of course).

  • Not really. Accordion is usually a collapsible element with at least one collapsible section of which usually only one can be expanded at a time. In my case I have collapsible sections (unrelated on different parts of the page) which can be expanded/collapsed individually and independently of others. Aug 23, 2012 at 12:35
  • And just for the record: accordion is a whole collapsing control not just action element that does collapsing/expansion. So one can't really say: clicking on accordion expands details section but should rather say: clicking on section collapser expands details section. Aug 23, 2012 at 12:55

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