‘Misunderstands’ is not an option


Here at Daily Nous we are committed to using self-selected responses to simple internet polls as a method for investigating the important issues in our profession. In that vein, Matt Smith (Leeds), asked: “Comment, commentate, commenter, commentator?” The only proper response was, of course, “what are you talking about?” Matt then explained.

Which of these terms do you use to describe the remarks someone makes after a talk, and what do you call the person who makes them?

[polldaddy poll=8243524]
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justinrweinberg
Reply to  Tyler Curtain (@tylercurtain)
6 years ago

That hardly settles the matter, as it is unclear whether the person in question is providing “an isolated remark” or a “series of remarks.” We may need to call in the philosophers of action, or maybe even the metaphysicians.Report

anon grad
anon grad
Reply to  Tyler Curtain (@tylercurtain)
6 years ago

I think grammarist misunderstands their own examples. Looking through them, it seems the better distinction between a commenter and a commentator is that the commenter is commenting on someone else’s content while a commentator is reflecting on things more broadly.

(I am especially referring to the edlharris example.)

If that’s the right distinction, then “commenter” it is.Report

SCM
SCM
6 years ago

It would be much more fun if we did have people commentating on talks though, like a horse race: “And he’s off, folks … a quick stumble out the gate with that witticism, but Smith soon recovers, and enters what looks like it might just be a thesis statement … No, no! … a real dodge there from Smith, a real tap-dance on the edge of obscurity, that one … and here we go now folks … yes, yes … this might just be it …”Report

justinrweinberg
Reply to  SCM
6 years ago

Sort of like G.A. Cohen’s Marxist boxing match commentary. I saw him do a Quine v. Strawson one once but I can’t seem to find a version of it online.Report

Daniel Silvermint
Daniel Silvermint
6 years ago

Wish there was an option for “comments, commentator”.Report

Neil Sinhababu
6 years ago

I think I use “commenter” for someone who just raises a hand in open Q&A and asks something, and “commentator” for someone who has a scheduled ten-minute response that’s on the program.

If someone raises a hand in open Q&A and talks for ten minutes, I use other words.Report