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My current work is creating a kind of node that is connectable to other nodes. However, since the connection is made by wiring these nodes I always use the word wireable.

This node is wireable to other nodes that are exposing the required interface.

While creating a presentation I recognized that the spelling checker does mark the word as wrong. I first thought that this could be one of the words in which the e is dropped but in none of the dictionaries (several Oxford Dictionaries, Merriam Webster, Urban, Wordnik) I found wireable or wirable. I can only find some unreliable sources, so I wonder if this word does really exist or is just a kind of neologism.

Is it appropriate to use the word wireable or should I go with connectable?

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+1 for taking the time to list which dictionaries you've already checked. P.S. I couldn't find it in the OED, either, but I don't want to dogmatically claim it's not there; it might be buried under some other entry or something. –  J.R. Aug 21 '12 at 9:15
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Dictionary sources would suggest it's a neologism, as you conjectured. Still, if you want my opinion, I'd keep using it. For one, it doesn't strike me as unnatural or forced (if anything, I'm a bit surprised to not find it listed). For another, it's not without precedent; the word can be found in some reputable sources (see here and here, for instance. I also found a paper entitled On the structure of three-layer wireable layouts, published in Advances in Computing Research in 1984; it has since been cited by at least three other papers and a 2004 book).

So long as wireable seems like a more appropriate word than connectable in your context, I'd be bold and use the word.

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Since wire is a verb[1], and one of its meanings is

To fasten, join, or secure using wire; to fit or provide with wire or wires.

I'm sure you can use it figuratively.

It is fine to turn verbs into adjectives by adding -able, e.g. drivable, runnable, stoppable, etc., so your readers should have no problem understanding wirable or wireable.

As an alternative, if you'd like to keep within the scope of your spell checker:

This node can be wired to other nodes...

With regard as to whether wireable is a known word; I cannot find wireable in a dictionary, but this Google books search shows the use of wire and wireability in conjunction with node. So it's not picked up enough momentum to enter mainstream dictionaries yet, but it's not unheard of in the sense you suggest.

[1]: "wire, v.". OED Online. June 2012. Oxford University Press. http://oed.com/view/Entry/229450?rskey=tufOfz&result=3&isAdvanced=false (accessed August 21, 2012).

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