querent

By: | Post date: 2017-03-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

A queer little word, querent, and one that tripped me up when I beheld it come from the Magister:

Michael Masiello’s answer to Why do many students believe that their major will limit or prevent them from getting jobs or degrees in other fields?

Sure, there are other means of finding this out, but Quora is a Q&A site, and these querents probably hope to hear from people who have made the transitions they’re curious about.

Others have used the word on Quora before; Adrián Lamo has a particular fondness for it. But if you search for the word in questions, you’ll notice a common theme:

I fancied myself as recognising the word, I know my Latin: querent < quaerens, one who asks. Yes. But there’s more that I’d missed:

Definition of QUERENT

inquirer; specifically : one who consults an astrologer

Querent – Wikipedia:

Querent became used to denote “a person who questions an oracle” because it is usually when one has a problem that requires otherworldly advice that one would seek out the oracle in the first place. This oracle may simply be a divinatory technique, such as the I Ching, that is manipulated by the querents themselves without recourse to any other human agency. Alternatively it may involve another person, someone perhaps seen as a “fortune teller” – particularly a practitioner of tarot reading or other form of mediumship – from whom advice is sought.

Now, The Magister is no common Quoran using a fancy word because it looks fancy. The Magister is, well, The Magister.

By calling people who ask questions querents, he is implying that they seek professional advice from Quora, looking upon it as an oracle. Or tarot reader. Or astrologer. Or Magic 8-Ball.

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