I can’t believe I’ve never looked this one up before, but…clearly I hadn’t, LOL. Because I was completely surprised to learn that author did not originally mean “writer.” Did you know that??
Author has been in use in English since the mid-1300s, taken from the Latin auctor (via French), which means “promoter, producer, father, progenitor; builder, founder; trustworthy writer, authority; historian; performer, doer; responsible person, teacher.” Literally, “one who causes to grow.” So originally, author was used for any creator!
However, it didn’t take long for it to take on special meaning for those who write. By the end of the 1300s, it was being used to differentiate one who created a written work from people who transcribed, translated, or compiled it.
Even more interesting is how it relates to the word authority…which we’ll look at next week. 😉