sign in   |  sign up
 
 


Common errors > officer  noun, countable

 printer-friendly version

Incorrect or non-standard usage, overuse etc.

She is an officer in a bank.
He works in an office as an officer.
 

The problem

The words office (place where you work) and officer are not directly related.

People who work in offices are not generally called officers. It is true that the job titles of some people who work in offices include the word officer, such as , Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Fire and Safety Officer.

However, it is not a general job title for all people who work in offices. Most people who work in offices are clerks, secretaries and so on.

Again, some large organizations use the title, clerical officer but this is not universal, and the title is not complete without a qualifying word such as clerical, administrative etc.

A more common use of the word 'officer' is for police and military ranks.
In the military, the terms 'naval', 'army', and 'airforce' officer are used for higher ranking members of their services only. (Ranks above and including Second Lieutenant in the British Army).
All members of the police force are police officers regardless of rank.

Standard English

She works in an office, is usually adequate if you do not know someone's exact job title.
These days with most people working in offices and often having complex job titles that only make sense within that organization, it is common simply to say,

s/he works for (company name) or s/he works for a(n) insurance / garment / software etc company.


Back to common errors index