signee. “Signee” = a high-profile recruit, often an athlete, who is signed up by a school, employer, etc. Although the signee is the one who signs (active voice), the passive “-ee” makes sense in most contexts because the signee “is signed” by an organization. E.g.: o “Prairie has Husky signee Dan Dickau and is expected to challenge for the Greater St. Helens League title with Evergreen of Vancouver.” “Times Stars of the Week,” Seattle Times, 10 Dec. 1996, at C5. o “Such is the case with South West Philly’s General, the freshest signee to Blackground Records.” Damon C. Williams, “General Leading the Charge,” Phil. Daily News, 24 Jan. 2003, at 61. But in other situations — where the person who signs can in no way be said to have “been signed” by anyone — the passive construction is silly. Substitute the active agent noun or reword — e.g.: “After a local newspaper printed the names of the people who signed the integration petition, dozens of the signees [read ‘signers’] asked to have their names removed.” Hannah Mitchell, “Threats and Triumphs: 35 Years at the NAACP,” Charlotte Observer, 6 Dec. 2002, at V1. Language-Change Index — “signee” misused for “signer”: Stage 1. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Use is the judge, and law, and rule of speech.” Horace (ca. 12 B.C.) (as quoted in Casey Miller & Kate Swift, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing 1 (2d ed. 1988)).
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