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difference between these two nouns Options
robjen
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 1:47:17 AM
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What is the difference between "attender" and "attendee"?


Are students who attend classes called attenders or attendees?


Thanks for your help.
Romina Banoo
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 2:43:06 AM

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They are the same .
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 4:30:01 AM
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I've never heard of the word 'attender ' but if it means the same as 'attendee ' I see no point in using it.
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 4:30:02 AM
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I've never heard of the word 'attender ' but if it means the same as 'attendee ' I see no point in using it.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 8:49:22 AM

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I had not heard of 'attender' either but it is in the new Thesaurus (and legal) in TFD. It has two other meanings besides 'attendee'.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/attender

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning. - Bill Watterson
thar
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 9:41:58 AM

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This is where dictionaries can lead people astray.

We have had questions about attenders, and curiousness, and wasn't there another one from Koh Elaine, I can't remember?

You can find those words in the dictionary, so it looks like you can use them, right?

The problem is, nobody else uses them in normal speech or writing. Not even widely-read, erudite people.
So they just sound wrong.
If someone uses is a word like 'curiousness' or 'attender' in something like an article in The Times Literary Supplement, we will assume they are correct in using it, and that we, the readers, have just learnt a new word. Or if we read it in a novel, and it fits in with the writing style and context, you probably wouldn't even notice it. The meaning would be clear.

But if you use it, as a learner of English, people will just think you are wrong and that you don't know that the 'correct' word is 'attendee' or 'strangeness'.

It may not be fair, but that is the way the world works!

Stick to the one common word. You can find out which by doing a few searches and seeing what comes up. Is it modern, is it mainstream? Or is it a specialist word used in your field? (Like legal documents, business, computing, social science, any field with specialist vocabulary.)

If not, people will still understand what you mean, but they might think you don't know the correct English word, and have invented a new one by mistake.

d'oh!
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 9:46:15 PM
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According to Google Ngram Viewer, "attender" was more common than "attendee" in American English from about 1830 to 1980, after which "attendee" has become much the more common form. In British English, "attender" was about twice as common as "attendee" in 2000, although the gap was closing. In other words, the current popularity of "attendee" is American-driven and very recent.

See also the Usage Note quoted by TFD under -ee.
thar
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2018 1:40:09 AM

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That would explain why I would use attendee for a conference and and attender for church! Whistle
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:45:17 AM

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'Attendee' has gradually become the opposite to what we usually do.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment/story/0,,1461206,00.html

Clutching my purchase, I boarded a bus where a notice informed me there was room for 16 standees. I would like to have asked the driver this question: what exactly is a standee? But he was too busy discussing the recent decline of Newcastle United with a man in a woolly hat. As it happened, I received a letter the very same day asking what I made of the term "attendee" that appeared to be creeping into the language. "You may very well ask," I muttered as I folded it neatly up and filed it away under "filed". I had always assumed that someone who took a positive action was given a designation that ended in -er, while those on the receiving end were given the suffix -ee. Take the word referee. A referee is one to whom an issue to be resolved is referred; whoever is asking the question would be a referrer. Imagine, for instance, that the Newcastle footballer Lee Bowyer went up to the man in black and inquired with exquisite courtesy: "What the freak do you think you are freaking playing at?" Bowyer would be the referrer, and his victim the referee. Equally, those who signed Bowyer for Newcastle were employers, and Bowyer whom they signed is their employee, though not, perhaps, for much longer.



It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning. - Bill Watterson
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, June 18, 2018 3:22:58 AM

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The reason that there is an apparent discrepancy (the ngram viewer shows "attender" to be more popular in British English - but British speakers have never heard it) is that it is very rare.

Neither of these phrases is the most common usage.

American English - There were twenty in attendance OR There were twenty attendees.
(Logically, this last one means that there were twenty people who were attended. Twenty people waited upon or listened to. - as Audiendus and Hope showed.)
Logically, a "standee" is someone who is stood upon!

British English - There were twenty in attendance OR There were twenty attenders OR There were twenty attendees.

This doesn't even look into the common spoken phrases - "there were twenty people there", "twenty parishioners came to the service", "twenty people were at the service".

I can't display the graphs using this computer, but see here - British, and American.

In 2008 (in books and articles published in Britain) 97% used "in attendance" and about 1% each used "attender" or "attendee".
In 1960, about 98% used "in attendance", about 1.5% used "attender" and 0.5% (less actually) used "attendee".

"Attendees" has gained over "attenders" - but (except in "corporate-speak" and probably newspapers) both are quite rare.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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