(WYTV)- Why do we say governor but then use the adjective gubernatorial?
Are we supposed to vote for a gubernator?
That word, gubernatorial, comes from the Latin word gubernare, to govern. Then the French put the letter “v” into gubernare around the 14th century…they swapped the “b’ for the “v.”
English speakers went back to the “b” about the 18th century but just for gubernatorial and only in America.
It’s mainly in the United States we use this word. Everywhere else English is spoken, you won’t hear gubernatorial.
National Public Radio speculated that maybe we needed the adjective because we have so many governors in this country. Or, maybe some people years ago wanted to show off Latin and went back to the original “b.”
The New York Times Manual of Style is no fan of “gubernatorial.” It calls the adjective stilted and recommends we say “the race for governor” or “the campaign for governor” as alternatives, although they are longer.