Browseable vs browsable?

Subject: Browseable vs browsable?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Jessica Weissman <Jessica -dot- Weissman -at- hillcrestlabs -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 08:52:31 -0400

Jessica Weissman wondered: <<Does anyone have a usage reference that supports either "browseable" or "browsable" to describe a set of choices?>>

I believe the word you're looking for is "dictionary". <gdrlh> My older unabridged does not list the word, but does list "browsing" (no "e") rather than "browseing", and that suggests a precedent for word formation from the root word "browse". That's not an infallible way to proceed, but if you've got a good grasp of word formation, it does at least provide guidance.

This is also a case when a Google search provides useful insights into usage. Google is not always reliable for matters of _correctness_, because 1 correct answer may be outnumbered by 1 million uninformed opinions, but it's a very useful guide to whether and how usage (not useage <g>) is changing. You can do this yourself using two separate searches, or can take advantage of the clever "Google Fight" ( site and do it in a single screen.

As it happens, "browsable" wins by a considerable margin. Even so, the number of hits for "browseable" is sufficiently high to suggest that a shift in usage may be occurring. Not high enough that I'd accept "browseable" just yet, though.
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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca

(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)

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browseable vs browsable: From: Jessica Weissman

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