This always bugs me, especially when television commercial spokespeople pronounce “real-tor” instead of saying it like real people — “real-a-tor.”

Someone told me “realtor” is a trademarked term of the National Association of Realtors, with its one million members. Otherwise, you’re talking about a real estate agent or broker, or in England an estate agent. Sam Johnson, in his seminal 1755 English dictionary, defined “real,” in its third meaning, as “In law, consisting of things immovable, as land.” I’ve also read that “real,” in relation to property, had its origins in relation to royal ownership of land. Johnson, in fact, includes the word “landjobber” in his dictionary, defining it as, “One who buys and sells lands for other men.”

Anyway, I still think the spelling of “realtor” deserves to evolve to “real-a-tor,” if the word is to fit its common usage. If they start saying it that way on TV, maybe it will.

Advertisements