Latin/general

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Question
Dear Maria:
Hi, it's just Eamonn again.  I'm sorry to bother you but I wanted to clarify something.  Before I initially wrote to you I had looked for the translation of the word "consumer" on the internet, and it said the latin word is "consumptor" - meaning one who consumes - and not "emptor" - meaning a buyer or purchaser.  I actually prefer the word emptor but I thought that I would get your opinion on the issue first.  Thank you for your assistance with this matter.  Sincerely, Eamonn

Answer
Dear Eamonn,

actually the Latin masculine noun “consumptor” means either “destroyer“, i.e.“a person that destroys something” (See Cicero, De Natura Deorum, book II, chapter 41, where fire is called “consumptor omnium” meaning “a destroyer of everything”) or “spendthrift“,i.e. “someone who spends a lot of money in a way that wastes it”(See Seneca the Elder, Excerpta Controversiae, book 3).

Therefore the word “consumptor” cannot be used in the sense of "consumer",i.e. “a person who buys goods or services for their own use” or “people who often buy new goods, especially goods that maybe they do not need, and in which a high value is placed on owning many things”

To conclude, the Latin noun  “emptor” (nominative singular) is the best translation for “consumer” in the sense of “one  who  buys goods or services” in our consumer society.

Best regards,

Maria  

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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