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vendor, n.
"THERE APPEARS to be a willing vendor," remarked Gerald Kaufmann of the Murdoch/United deal. The politician missed his calling, for the noun is used only by estate agents. It otherwise survives only in vending- machine and newsvendor. The verb also meant to voice an opinion.

A few years ago, solicitors agreed to refer to buyers and sellers. Whatever their other penchant for a circumlocution, estate agents were willing to do the same - until soon discovering a certain confusion, as in "the cellar's a bit mildewed". And so vendor it remains.

Even so, that fine American novelist Hortense Calisher wrote in The American Scholar of delight in finding one of her pseudonymous novels "vended" in the "devout atmosphere" of New York's Mysterious Bookshop.