Unbloggableable: an inconceivableable term that makes me a little uncomfortableable

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/08/12 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/08/12/8849596.aspx


The issue was something I was aware of before Doron mentioned the word in Once not disableable, forever not disableable and then talked a bit about the word itself in Inconceivableable.

In its own way, inconceivableable is probably a better model for what is doing on here.

After all, to conceive of an idea is to form an idea.

For an idea to be conceivable one would be capable of conceiving of it.

For an idea to be inconceivable one would be incapable of conceiving of it.

And for an idea to be inconceivableable one would be incapable of being able to determine whether one would be incapable of conceiving of it. :-)

Now disableable kind of falls into the same category, with to disable meaning to make unfit or unable, and you can do the same word dance to build up the word.

Could a better term have been used? Sure.

That could have been done with lots of words. Words like disambiguate, as I mentioned in The 'grammar of identifiers.

Would life be easier is such words were not spontaneously developed, if English were not a "productive" language?

Sure.

But life isn't just about being easy.

And there are more ways to serve a cat than buttering it with parsnips, too.

Sometimes we work so hard to build up from the terms that we know that we don't look for the better term to use....

So from now on in my mind, when I think about this Blog and what I blog in it, I will continue to wonder about the constant curiosity about what is bloggable.

More importantly, I will wonder about the many things I consider unbloggable (and the larger list of things that some my sharper critics and dissenters feel should be in that list).

And perhaps most importantly, I will wonder about the items that are unbloggableable, even though I am having trouble conceiving of exctly what that term is supposed to mean.

Perhaps the problem is a positional one -- and I don't know whether the word refers to that which is (unbloggable)able or un(bloggableable) or something like that.

Do either of those feel more natural to me?

Well, if nothing else I have a hard time discerning the exact meaning -- thus it is kinda inconceivableable to me.

Though in the end hard to say for sure, since a few years ago the sentence As I write a blog for this Blog would have felt like fingernails on the chalkboard and now feels right. Perhaps one day the word will seem like a good thing to me.

Though frankly that is inconceivableable to me at present....

Perhaps I an distracted by the recent passing of Isaac Hayes. Though he had been slipping for the last while. :-(

Ignore the uncomfortableable bit in the title, I just stuck that in there. Essentially it is (in this case) a back-formation since I didn't actually use the word in its intended way but instead as an artificial construct to make a somewhat humorous point (though in theory it could have been deconstructed in the same way, you now have the pragmatic knowledge of my motivations and the consequent attempt at humor.

Of course, no explained joke ever works. To be honest, this one wouldn't have really worked anyway as it was fairly lame. Sorry about that!

 

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harmony7 on 9 Sep 2008 9:16 PM:

This might be a bit off-topic, but I always thought the word "undoable" was confusing.

The dictionary says "undoable" means something unattainable: "An undoable plan" might mean you don't have the necessary money or people.

However, especially in the world of computers and UI, it is often used to mean something that can be undone: "An undoable edit control" might be an edit control with an undo function.

Maybe things of these sorts kind of... evolve after a while.


referenced by

2008/09/10 unundoable would be doubleplusungood way to do ([un]do) it

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