Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Random thoughts on -ees from the pensive pedant

I’m gradually becoming a non-pedant on grammar and spellings, but some things grate.

When did we stop doing things like retiring or attending?  Surely some who does things is an –er, not an –ee?

So you love – you are a lover.  I drive – I am a driver.  I employ – I am an employer.  

I am employed – I am an employee.

So why, if you attend a fashion show, have you suddenly become an “attendee”?
a bottle of which was handed to each show attendee . . .”
(from Guardian 06.03.2013)
It sounds no more elegant to me than an attender – and sounds as though you’ve been attended. Why not avoid the issue and hand a bottle to everyone who attended?

Then pensioners, or people who have retired, are referred to as retirees, as though they’ve all been retired against their will. 

Is this all a plot to normalise passivity?  (Not a serious question - yet.)

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