Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today's Words: councillor & counselor

A councillor (or councilor) is someone who sits on a council -- notice how one word contains the other. This perfectly gender-neutral* word is fading out of common use in favor of councilman, councilwoman, and the horrid councilperson.

A counselor is someone who gives counsel -- advice, words of wisdom, and so on. Again, counselor contains counsel.

The Councillors of the Jedi High Council

When Yoda sat on the the Jedi High Council, he was a councillor. After the dissolution of the Jedi Order, he moved to Dagobah and, later, became Luke's counselor.

* At least, I hope no one ever thought that a woman on the council should be called a councilless or councilatrix.