What's the Word? 'Secretary' or 'Administrative Professional'

'Secretary' or 'administrative professional'? Find out from an expert.

ByBy Matt Negrin
April 27, 2012, 4:24 PM

— -- It's Administrative Professionals Week, so what better time to answer the burning question that comes up in offices everywhere: Is the term "secretary" passé?

Washington is full of lobbies and associations protecting various interest groups, and administrative professionals are no exception.

ABC News sat down with Kemetia Foley, President of the Old Town Alexandria Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals and, yes, a secretary, to get the definitive opinion on the 'S' word.

ABC News: What is the difference secretary vs. administrative professional, what is the discrepancy, and why is one right and the other not as right?

Kemetia Foley: I don't have a problem with the word secretary. It comes from the word confidante. That's what it means, that you're the right- hand person that keeps all the secrets or all the information that needs to be kept close to the vest. That's where it originated from. It's a very honored role, it's an important role so you have to keep that in mind or try to tell people to keep that in mind when someone says, 'Oh, you're a secretary?'

Yes, I am.

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