Figure out this one: Analyst vs. annalist

This pair of similar sounding words often is confused.

An analyst is someone who examines information or materials – it might be financial trends or chemical solutions – to answer some question. Because of this, an analyst analyses materials and makes an analyses. For example, Aunt Jane used to work as a business analyst for a Los Angeles bank.

An annalist, however, is someone who writes or keeps history records. The records they keep are called annals. To wit, Aunt Dawn wrote annals about important geological expeditions in Utah.

To remember the differences, try this little tongue twister: An analyst might review annals to make an analyses, but an annalist never analyses.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.