Posted by: episystechpubs | December 2, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Agent Nouns

Secret Agent Nouns
Secret Agent Nouns
They’ve given you a number and taken away your name

Okay, so the song was really about a Secret Agent Man, but I just found out about something called “agent nouns” and I couldn’t stop myself from telling you about them.

Agent nouns are nouns derived from verbs. Specifically, they are nouns that describe the person performing a particular action. For example, an actor (noun) is one who acts (verb); a teacher (noun) is one who teaches (verb).

Agent nouns sometimes end with –or and other times with –er. Here is a little secret: only Latin-based words end in –or, such as:

· actor (from agere, to do or act)

· director (from dirigere, to guide)

· governor (from gubernare, to govern)

· inventor (from invenire, to discover)

Other agent nouns use the verb and the suffix –er, for example:

· To walk, walker

· To writer, writer

· To work, worker

· To sing, singer

I’m pretty sure you can work this into scintillating conversation at a holiday party!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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