Advise the Adviser

September 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

Adviser or Advisor???

AP style tells us to use adviser rather than advisor but it does not indicate why.  I am interested in learning the reason.  Perhaps it has to do with the etymology of the word.

Maybe because the root verb (“advise”) ends in the letter E, the -er suffix is preferred to the -or suffix.  An analogous case is the verb organize, which becomes organizer (and clearly not “organizor”).

Dictionaries say these words are synonymous.  Neither seem technically incorrect or correct.

What do you think?  Comment back – do you use advisor or adviser?

  • Winsor Pilates


2 Responses to “Advise the Adviser”
  1. Marcus Handy says:

    Up until the end of 2010, I was using “advisor,” as that is all I had ever known. However, after doing some research, I found that many authoritative sources (e.g. AP textbooks and media outlets) tend to favor the use of “adviser” over its alternative form. So, reluctantly, I made the switch.

  2. Colby Jenn says:

    according to wiktionary:

    In general, adviser and advisor are interchangeable. However, adviser is used more generally to mean someone who is giving advice (what they are doing), whereas advisor is more commonly used when it means the primary role (what they are), such as job title, etc.

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