Attender vs. Attendee: a rebuttal

My grammatical faith in Americans in restored! This just in from Jeff Rakes, Pastor of Worship and Administration of Grace Church in Dover, DE:

we did research this at one time – here are a couple of things I’ve run across. you may have seen the same ones

the best distinction I found was
ATTENDER:

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary:
attender
(especially BrE) (AmE usually attendee) noun a person who goes to a place or an event, often on a regular basis: She’s a regular attender at evening classes. PowerExif – the best choice to edit EXIF data in imagesLongman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:
attender
at·tend·er /əˈtendə US -ər/ n [C]
someone who regularly goes to an event such as a meeting or a class
 Daniel was a regular attender at the Baptist Church.

ATTENDEE:
(only found in Longman, no result in OALD)
attendee
at·ten·dee /əˌtenˈdiː, ˌæten-/ n [C]
someone who is at an event such as a meeting or a course

See also an interesting tidbit on English vs. British usage

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:attender

We chose attendee because it can include people who attend occasionally and not necessarily regularly
Not that most people have thought about whether there’s a difference, but we were trying to be consistent, at least when we can remember :)

Blimey! I guess Briticisms don’t rule after all. That’ll show me for being so cheeky about the church website. Thanks, Jeff, for the well-reasoned and spot on response. If my rants weren’t permanently singed on the landscape of the Internet, you bet they’d be in the dustbin right now.

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