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As it sounds: is "wrapable" correct, or is "wrappable" correct? Or are neither correct?

Microsoft Word complains about both, but Google doesn't correct either one.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Wrappable. (Google Ngrams data.)

A more common example, closely analogous to wrappable, is slappable.

Generally, when a short vowel (like the a of wrap) occurs in the last syllable of a verb, the consonant following it gets doubled in conjugated forms: thus wrap -> wrapping, wrapped, and so on; similarly, fit -> fitting, fitted, …

Conjugated forms with single consonants usually come from verbs ending with a long vowel and silent e. So rapping comes from rap, but raping comes from rape; bidding comes from bid, but biding from bide.

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Referring to the conjugated forms was a good idea. –  KitFox May 19 '11 at 22:55
    
Thank you, this is a fantastic answer :) –  Chris Laplante May 19 '11 at 23:24
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@PPL: Truly an elegant answer. I'm impressed by the balance of breadth and the brevity. –  FumbleFingers May 19 '11 at 23:42
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I don't think "wrappable" is a word that is in most standard spelling dictionaries, so that's probably why you're not getting an appropriate correction. If it is a word, I would spell it with two ps. Only one p would make the vowel long, I think, so it would sound more like rape-able. Two ps would keep the vowel short.

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+1 : "Two ps would keep the vowel short" and "one p would make the vowel long". –  user8568 May 19 '11 at 23:04
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@Kit: So if your partner says your birthday present isn't wrappable, you'd have no idea what they meant? Me, I'd be hoping for either a sports car or a night of red-hot sex. Anyway, Google gives thousands of hits for even "wrappable tripod", so it must be "a word". –  FumbleFingers May 19 '11 at 23:47
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@Kit: The Official Scrabble Wordlist, based on Chambers dictionary, always contains at least some words (formed by standard inflections of other entries) that don't actually appear in that dictionary. I just checked my 1994 copy of OSW and wrappable isn't there, but I expect it's either already in the latest edition, or it will be in the next. Anyway, even if it's not really 'a word' by some definitions, at least we all know how to spell it! –  FumbleFingers May 20 '11 at 0:54
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@FumbleFingers I would only accept OSW as a source if it agreed with me. Otherwise, I consider it to be a repository of words that were concocted by Scrabble players just so they could win games, which to me does not count as English. :P –  KitFox May 20 '11 at 1:16
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@Kit: Well Chambers is quite respected, and it's the reference dictionary for one of UK's hardest crosswords (Sunday Times Mephisto). But like many, it doesn't necessarily print trivial regular extensions (lots of plurals, for example). Mind you, I was very annoyed to be denied BI a few years back. Turns out that one's in current editions; we were just using an old edition of OSW. –  FumbleFingers May 20 '11 at 1:26
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