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Tailer vs. Tailor vs. Taylor (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between tailer, tailor, and Taylor with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

I must be in a fashion mood or something, because we were looking at the differences between sew, so, and sow last week. Now, we're jumping over to another group of similar sounding words, and one of them again deals with tending clothes.

So let's look at the differences between tailer, tailor, and Taylor and when to use each.

Tailer vs. Tailor vs. Taylor (Grammar Rules)

Tailer vs. Tailor vs. Taylor

Tailer is a noun that refers to somebody or something that follows (or "tails") somebody or something else. Kind of like a private investigator or spy, for instance. It's also a term sometimes used in nautical and fishing circles.

Tailor can be used as a noun or verb. As a noun, it refers to a person who makes, mends, or alters clothes. As a verb, it can refer to the act of making, mending, or altering clothes. But the meaning of the verb can also expand to creating or designing something for a specific purpose (like tailoring a diet and exercise program for a specific person).

(5 Tips for Forming Your Own Distinct Voice.)

Taylor, on the other hand, is a name often used by both men and women. A couple current Taylors include Taylor Swift (singer) and Taylor Heinicke (American football player). Plus, it is a common surname, which means originated from the word for tailor.

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of tailer, tailor, and Taylor:

Correct: It took a few wrong turns down one-way streets, but she finally lost her tailer.
Incorrect (probably)*: It took a few wrong turns down one-way streets, but she finally lost her tailor.
Incorrect (also probably)**: It took a few wrong turns down one-way streets, but she finally lost her Taylor.

Correct: The author took his suit to the tailor to get adjusted.
Incorrect: The author took his suit to the tailer to get adjusted.
Incorrect: The author took his suit to the Taylor to get adjusted.

Correct: The new student's name was Taylor.
Incorrect: The new student's name was tailer.
Incorrect: The new student's name was tailor.

Correct (all three): Taylor will tailor a plan for you to become a great tailer of suspects.

So I'm sure there's probably someone named Taylor Taylor who works as a tailor with a side gig as a tailer, but most of the time, you'll need to keep these terms separate. A tailer tails someone; a tailor works with clothes; and a Taylor is a person who has great potential.

Footnotes:

*Unless the person was actually trying to lose the person who mends her clothes.

**Unless the person's tailer was actually named Taylor, who may or may not be a tailor.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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