Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Oo er ee!

Er/ ee! We used to have a distinction between doer and doee, eg employer / employee. Now everything seems to take -ee, surely formerly the French past participle? So we have attendees at conferences but why not attenders? Seems a bit silly to me but I'm sure I'll be told that it's been happening for centuries and reminded of exceptions. But evacuees, for example, we're people who had BEEN evacuated. Is it another useful or meaningful distinction that is being lost?

2 comments:

  1. Isn't refugee a sort of passive, though? "Someone who has been given refuge"?

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