ADVISOR or ADVISER?
Today’s Traverse City
contained two interesting variations. An article on page 1-D had this headline:
Board of advisers helps. An article on page 2-D includes a signoff that
identifies columnist Fred Goldenberg as a Certified Senior Advisor. So,
which spelling is correct?
Generally, most sources
see the two spellings as interchangeable. This includes the Merriam-Webster
Dictionary, the American
Heritage Dictionary, the Random
House Unabridged Dictionary, Roget’s
Thesaurus, the Columbia Guide
to Standard English, and the Cambridge
Guide to English Usage.
contradictions spring up in various places. Some sources claim that adviser is the American preference, while advisor is British; other sources claim just the
opposite. Some say that newspapers tend to use adviser, and federal agencies tend to use advisor.
The Washington State
University web site says, “Adviser
and advisor are equally fine
spellings. There is no distinction between them.” In contrast, Purdue
University’s Marketing Communications Editorial Style Guide says we must use advisor.
According to the U.S.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), financial adviser is a general term or job title used by
investment professionals and does not denote any specific designation. The same
agency describes the main groups of investment professionals who are entitled to use the
term financial advisor to be brokers, investment advisers,
accountants, lawyers, insurance agents and financial planners. (Say, didn’t we
just see the words used interchangeably?)
Today, in an attempt to
uncover tangible evidence, I turned to Google. Here’s what I found:
- Google U.S. advisor: 820,000,000 hits; adviser: 67,700,000 hits.
- Google U.K. advisor: 839,000,000
hits; adviser: 69,300,000 hits.
So in actual use, advisor far outweighs adviser in both countries. This is just speculation, but
I think the choice may be influenced by the preferred spelling advisory.
Advisery is not a sanctioned spelling.
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