Becoming an -er or an -ist
A question popped into my brain yesterday and I haven’t been able to come to a conclusion yet, so I figure I might as well bring it to the blog. How does someone become an -er or an -ist? (I guess -or fits into the group as well.)
Here’s what I mean. Suppose someone performs a behavior. Is that person then an -er or -ist of that action? If you drink alcohol, are you a drinker?
My initial thought about this was that there likely needs to be some sort of repetition or habit for someone to be an -er. If a person has had one alcoholic beverage in their life, most would say the person is not a drinker. There’s no consistent habit.
But this guideline of repetition doesn’t really hold for all situations. If someone murders someone, most would say that the person is then a murderer. If a person cheats on a significant other, the person is often labeled a cheater. But this is actually debatable, as in many TV and movie scenes, people after being caught cheating often have claimed, “I’m not a cheater! It was only once and it will never happen again.” So does likelihood of a future habit have anything to do with someone being an -er or -ist?
Maybe positive actions need to be repeated to form a habit in order for a person to be an -er, whereas negative actions can brand a person as an -er immediately. If you donate money to a charity one time, it is unlikely that you’ll be labeled a philanthropist by those who know of you. Hmmm.
Somebody please enlighten me about this topic. I’m curious.