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04 / 05 / 2004

EDITOR vs. PUBLISHER: meaning and examples

Good morning.

English students are often not aware that in English the word editor is a false friend.

An editor is: a person who is in charge of the content of a newspaper or magazine, or a particular section of a newspaper or magazine.

A publisher is: a company (or person) that manages and directs the writing, production, and sales of books, magazines, newspapers or computer software. We sometimes refer to a publishing company as a publishing house.

Example 1
The editor of El País is much less conservative than the editor of ABC.

Example 2
Oxford University Press is one of the most prestigious publishers of English-teaching materials in the world.

Example 3
Last week I wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper and yesterday they published it on page 2; I couldn't believe it!

Notice that publish can also be a verb (Example 3). It means "to include something such as an article (or a letter to the editor) in a magazine or a newspaper" or "to create a lot of copies of a book, newspaper or magazine."

Edit can also be a verb and means "to prepare a document or book for publishing by correcting the mistakes."

Example 4
Before they published my book it needed to be edited.

Enjoy the rest of your day!