Usage and Grammar

Q. We are having a bit of a debate down here—in a manuscript, one of our authors refers to a person who keeps a journal as a “journaler.” The author prefers “journaler” to “diarist” because she feels that they are two separate things. The copyeditor wants to change “journaler” to “journalist” (the second definition of “journalist” is “a person who keeps a journal”), but I think that would be confusing to a reader. “Journalizer” appears in Merriam-Webster but doesn’t seem right either. Any opinions?

A. Let me guess: this author also uses the verb “to journal.” If this is the kind of book that allows a person to journal, you may as well call the perpetrator a journaler. Alternatives might be “journal keeper,” “writer,” “author,” or “narrator.”