Is it OK to use the word “ranker” to mean someone who has got a good rank?

In our country, whenever someone does well in an exam and gets a rank, he is usually called a “ranker”. Makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, someone who plays is a “player”, a man who smokes is a “smoker”, and a man who drives is a “driver”. Therefore the boy who gets a good rank in an exam should be called a “ranker”. Unfortunately, when it comes to language, logic doesn’t always work especially in the case of English. We don’t call someone who cooks a “cooker”, do we? Similarly, someone who does exceedingly well in an exam is not called a “ranker” — at least not by native speakers of English. Dictionaries define the word “ranker” as a commissioned officer who has been promoted from the enlisted status.

The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, July 19, 2004.


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