auctorial was our Word of the Day on 12/18/2007. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
In ancient Rome, auctioneers, grantors, and vendors were known as "auctors." The title is based on the Latin verb augēre, meaning "to promote" or "to increase." The word auctor, which was also used for a person who creates something, passed through Anglo-French and Middle English, eventually evolving (somewhat perplexingly) into the Modern English word author. English writers dug up "auctor" again in the early 19th century to form the adjective "auctorial." The coinage was a somewhat surprising one, given that the word authorial had been firmly established in English for over a quarter of a century. Today, "authorial" is the more common of the two words, but modern-day wordsmiths continue to put "auctorial" to use on occasion.
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