Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When you want to process or parse something and you say it can be done, how do you say that the right way? Is it parsable, parseable, or processable? Which is right? I can't find any of them in dictionaries.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Even though my spell checker is giving me a red squiggly line even as I type, the OED lists parsable as a word, meaning "able to be parsed," with a reference stretching back into the late 1800s.

1889 Amer. Ann. Deaf & Dumb Apr. 105 A sentence or phrase‥perfectly parsable.

Interestingly enough, though the OED lists four sample uses, none of them reference computer languages, which surprised me.

The OED does mention a more widely-used alternative word: analyzable.

Processable also gets listed as well, and my spell-checker is having no problem with that word.

So, you could use analyzable if you don't want to wave any red flags, processable if you want to look smart, and parsable if you want to appear erudite.    :^)

On a more serious note, Wordnik also lists both words, with a fairly large handful of sample sentences for both.

share|improve this answer
    
Funny though that neither the OALD nor its American version list anything similar. –  Paola May 6 '12 at 9:37

Both are used. Parsable is preferred in formal writing according to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/parsable#English

share|improve this answer

Parseable strikes a hit also here, whereas TheFreeDictionary.com does not recognize the other spelling.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.