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bug#1476: 23.0.60; spelling of (un)writeable should be (un)writable


From: Lawrence Mitchell
Subject: bug#1476: 23.0.60; spelling of (un)writeable should be (un)writable
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 14:00:36 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Drew Adams wrote:

>>> Emacs manual, node Directory Variables.
>>> Please change "unwriteable" to "unwritable".

>>> Not very important, since this is just an invented name in
>>> an example, but it can lead users to think that's the spelling
>>> and thus to look for such a term in the future.  Googling shows
>>> that similar bugs have been logged for Scheme, Python, man
>>> pages, and elsewhere.

>> FWIW the OED says both are fine: writable, a. Also writeable.

>  English has no equivalent of l'Academie Francaise, and that includes
>  the OED.

Of this I am well aware, however, the OED's quotations for both forms
do not have writeable as an obsolete variant.

>  It's about general usage, in practice. Whether "both are fine" is
>  really beside the point. There are lots of English expressions that
>  are fine or that are used in some contexts by some people, but which
>  if used generally will get you stares of incomprehensibility most of
>  the time.

>  "writeable" is relatively little used,

If you're willing to believe that the internet is a reasonable corpus,
this is not a true statement:

~ 1e6 results for writeable
~ 3e6 results for writable

Emacs should certainly standardise on one or other of the two
variants, but it's not as obviously clearcut as you make out.

Lawrence

-- 
Lawrence Mitchell <address@hidden>






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