pdp at exim
May 19, 2012, 3:25 PM
Post #3 of 4
On 2012-05-19 at 20:17 +0100, Nigel Metheringham wrote:
> Not sure - OED says writeable is an alternate form of writable [ see
> http://yfrog.com/oct3hdfj ], which sort of suggests writable is the
Chambers 21st century lists neither writable nor writeable, so neither
is allowed in Scrabble(tm) in the UK. Cambridge dictionaries have
vim spelling check highlights "writable" as a mistake but accepts
"writeable", and I've checked that this is not a local override. My
system is set to en_US and vim is set to spelllang=en.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/writeable?s=t accepts both,
writable as primary.
Merriam-Webster (classic US reference) only accepts "writable":
Using Google, I note that most occurrences of "writeable" happen with a
Myself, whenever I see "writable" I think "capable of being served with
a writ", which is not what the Americans think when they see the term.
So I'm happy to stick with "writeable", which I learnt and doesn't show
up in red in my text editor (which is using an American dialect
> With heartfelt apologies to those having to work in english as a
> second/third/whatever language who suffer from our sheer bloodymindedness!
Which English? :)
See, this is the problem with silly humans. We don't follow a
standards-defined committee-consensus process for speaking in a
recursive-descent grammar. Things are messy. Words and even grammar
ebb and flow within a language. The best we can do with dictionaries is
try to formalise point-in-time observances of the usage within some
stratum of society in some particular place. (Perhaps including the
word "sausage", thanks to Baldrick). L'Acadamie Français might be able
to formalise French and react with horror to teenagers, but in English
we're still fighting off ignorant attempts to coerce our grammar into
matching Latin's, dating from when Latin was the language everyone
educated learnt and none of them could conceive that the rules might be
*different* for English. Thus we have monstrous artificial inventions
such as a "no split infinitive" rule, which is just wrong, but folks
used to be forced to learn.
As to Exim: writeable has been used as the standard spelling by the
original author, whose approach to English is rather more British than
mine. Let's stick with it.
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