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  • I'm not that bothered by "extendable", though I wouldn't use it myself. After all, "-able" is a productive suffix, so "extendable" can coexist alongside "extensible" just as "drinkable" can coexist alongside "potable", and "believable" alongside "credible". The one that bothers me is "extendible" -- you have to make up your mind which way you're going.
    • But those cases aren't analogous.
      "extendable" vs. "extensible" are (morphs of) endings on the same root; "drinkable" vs. "potable" are different roots. Which suffixes they get are independently determined. With "extend", as with any other single root, there is only one right way to add the -[ia]ble ending. Extendable is just as wrong as extendible.

      • I disagree. "Extendable" isn't formed from a root in the way "extensible" is. It's formed by adding the English suffix "-able" to the English word "extend", just as "-able" can be added to other verbs. The suffix "-able" is productive, unlike "-ible", much as the prefix "un-" is productive while "in-" isn't.

        Essentially, "-ible" words are formed in Latin (although sometimes the formation is a little late), and then imported into English whole. Some "-able" words are like that, too, but most are formed in
        • It's formed by adding the English suffix "-able" to the English word "extend",

          Yes, obviously that's how people do it. That doesn't make it correct.

          "Extendable" is a perfectly normal English formation

          And again, being "normal" (i.e. following the norm) doesn't qualify something as correct in English, for the simple fact that English is so complex and irregular. Even so, you explained clearly enough why "extensible" is right.

          That leaves us with only a recourse to precedent. What's the earliest attest
          • Re:Extendable (Score:2, Informative)

            by vsergu (505) on 2002.07.16 20:42 (#10727) Journal
            The OED has an entry for "extendible" (it considers "extendable" an obsolete form of "extendible"). The definition does mention "extensible" as a synonym, but it's considered a separate word. The earliest citations are 1477 for "extendible", 1654 for "extendable" (1622 in a specific legal sense), and 1611 for "extensible".

            We don't disagree that "extensible" is right. What I'm missing in your argument is why that means that "extendable" is wrong. They're two different, though similar words, one derived from Latin "extensibilis" and one created in English from "extend" and "-able" (which of course both originated in Latin).

            Anyway, I realize that pet peeves often aren't susceptible to rational explanation, and there's little point in saying more. I'll leave it at that.