register; registrar. Both terms designate a governmental officer who keeps official records. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that “register” was commonly used in this sense from 1580 to 1800 and that “registrar” is now the usual word. But in American English “register” retains vitality: various levels of government have “registers of copyrights,” “registers of deeds,” “registers of patents,” “registers of wills,” and the like. As a matter of American English usage, a “registrar” is usually a school official, whereas a “register” is usually one who records documents for state or local government. Apart from the agent-noun sense, the usual meaning of “register” is “a book or other record in which entries are made during the course of business.” For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————- Quotation of the Day: “Standard English is such English as is held to be proper and respectable, fitting and dignified, in all conditions; moreover and especially it consists of all such language as is both adequate and seemly on all serious occasions and in communication with foreigners.” Eric Partridge, “Slang and Standard English” (1950), in Weigh the Word 202, 204 (Charles B. Jennings et al. eds., 1957).
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