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Can the word "referable" be used to denote something that can be referenced and what is the difference between "referable" and "referenceable"?

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Apparently, this word is another way of explaining that websites can be "SEO Friendly" (SEO = Search Engine Optimization). Can you confirm it can be used that way? Thanks. jef –  user58574 Nov 30 '13 at 18:20

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, referable can be used to denote something that can be referenced. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines referable as follows:

Capable of being referred, or considered in relation to something else; assignable; ascribable.

On the other hand, referenceable is not present in any of the English dictionaries I checked. I don't suggest using it.

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It's just terrible that people don't use referrible much any longer, something that might have been inferrible by the general preference of Germanic -able suffixes over Latin -ible suffices when both are applicable. –  tchrist Aug 19 '13 at 18:04

The word 'referenceable' is commonly used in business. I am using it in an email right now but seeing as I am a little old school, I checked to see if it appears in any dictionaries yet. Alas, it does not.

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If the word is truly commonly used in business, it is a word, even if the dictionaries have not yet caught up with it. One of the powerful aspects of English is its ability to acommodate the development of new words. I'm not sure there is distinction between referable and referenceable; I believe one could refer to a poem, for example, but might not be able to use it as a reference in a technical context. In which case a poem would be referable but not referenceable, and a technical guide would be referenceable and perhaps referable.

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I am looking it up right now because I am copy editing a business proposal. The word "referable" is used in this case to refer to customers who are willing to be used as references for the kind of work being done, as in "These are referenceable customers."

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I received an e-mail from the CFO of a vendor we work with stating "satisfied, referenceable customers" would be their goal for their new year.

I was communicating this to a colleague, and got the familiar squiggly-misspelled-word-line under the word in my typed message. When my right-mouse-click returned no suitable suggested correct spelling, I went to the internet to research. While it would appear that the word is accepted in the business community for its implied meaning, there has not been an official declaration by any familiarly known resource that it is in fact a legitimate word.

But language adapts. Shakespeare made up words that are now used regularly. Pop culture references will also invade our accepted speech. If you don’t believe me, google it.

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