Keith Hansen, an Extension agent in Texas, has proposed a fun discussion topic: horticulturist or horticulturalist? We both prefer the former, though he points out that the introduction to my podcast uses the term "horticulturalist" instead. Both terms recognized as real words and seem to be more or less interchangeable.
But I don’t really think they are interchangeable, and I don’t think Keith does, either. Horticulture is a noun and horticultural is an adjective. Specialty titles, like economist, botanist, or chemist, are based on nouns, not adjectives. Otherwise we’d have economicalist, botanicalist, and chemicalist.
What do you think? Is there a legitimate use for the word "horticulturalist?"