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Kayaker vs. canoeist: agent nouns and suffixes

A reader asks this interesting question:

Two items in the news yesterday made me wonder, and I hope you have an answer to my question. The first Item referred to a man in a kayak as a "kayaker," the second item referred to a man in a canoe as a "canoeist." Both are paddling a watercraft, so why is one an "er" and the other an "ist"?

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