“Certified” and “Certificated”
￼Hiriyanna Balakrishna Shetty wonders about the difference between certified and certificated:
Do they mean the same ?
The dictionary definitions for both words overlap.
The OED gives these definitions for certified as a past participle:
Made certain; assured; certainly informed; attested by certificate; furnished with a certificate.:
It gives these definitions for certificate as a transitive verb:
To attest (a fact) by a certificate.
To furnish (a person) with a certificate.
To license or authorize by certificate.
In use, however, certificated seems to belong to the educational sphere, while certified is the word used to describe standards and qualifications in other occupations and industries.
Until recently, I’ve thought of certificated as chiefly British usage, but the term occurs very frequently now in the U.S. educational context. For example,
In Philadelphia more than 2,000 of the 12,000 classroom teachers have emergency teaching certificates. More than 42,000 of the 275,000 teaching positions in Texas are filled by uncertificated educators.
Certified derives from the verb to certify; certificated from the noun certificate.
The verb entered the language before the noun.
First came certify to describe the act of making certain. Then came certificate for the document that attested to the certainty.
If I wanted to talk about a person whose qualifications include a professional certificate, I’d use certified: certified public accountant, certified plumber. In speaking of inanimate objects I’d refer to certified milk or certified mail.
Lately I’ve noticed such expressions as certificated air carriers and certificated stock. For all I know, these terms have a technical meaning that is different from certified air carriers and certified stock. I would expect to follow a company style sheet in the matter.
In my own writing, unless provided with a very strong reason to do so, I would never use certificate as a verb form.
From a stylistic viewpoint, certificated and uncertificated are ugly words. (My spell-check flags uncertificated as erroneous.) They also smack of jargon.
It’s one thing to talk about “certificated and uncertificated personnel” in stuffy administrative documents. After all, educators love Eduspeak: inflated, euphemistic words that obscure the facts beneath.
Writers whose intention is to inform the public might want to avoid Eduspeak. When it comes to “uncertificated” teachers, words like “unqualified” and “unlicensed” spring to mind.
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