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  1. #1
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    clerk vs. secretary

    Is there any difference in meaning between the words clerk and secretary?
    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: clerk vs. secretary

    In the US, there is a difference. A clerk can be any type of subordinate employee who performs clerical tasks. For example, the shipping and receiving clerk files bills of lading, prepares shipping labels, and checks the manifests on incoming packages. But he doesn't have any real authority. A filing clerk maintains office files and probably reports to a secretary.

    We don't use the term "secretary" very much anymore; that position is usually called an "administrative assistant." A secretary/Adm. Asst. usually has more education and experience than a clerk, and even though she may report to a supervisor or executive, she usually also has a certain amount of autonomy and authority. A secretary often makes decisions on behalf of her boss in his absence; a clerk does not.

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    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Re: clerk vs. secretary

    Thank you very much. You've been very helpful!
    These subtle differences are pretty difficult to understand using a dictionary.
    Does this difference exist in British English as well?

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: clerk vs. secretary

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    ....
    Does this difference exist in British English as well?
    Yes. We still use 'secretary' though.

    b

  5. #5
    Englishlanguage is offline Member
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    Re: clerk vs. secretary

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Yes. We still use 'secretary' though.

    b
    Thank you

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