From an answer on another Stack Exchange website (StackOverflow):

Given how rare this will be, that ugly hack could be palpable.

It sounds like the author is saying that the solution might be viable? suitable? sufficient? I can deduce what he means from the context.

I am confused because having searched for the definition of the word "palpable" I cannot find an applicable definition. I like the word and if the usage is correct I might like to use it myself.

Did the author use the word "palpable" correctly? If so which definition is applicable?

closed as off-topic by MetaEd, FumbleFingers, Kristina Lopez, tchrist, phenry Jul 2 '13 at 18:44

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    Either It could become so intensely bad coding it could be touched and felt or the other Easily perceived; obvious – mplungjan Jul 2 '13 at 12:47
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    Having read it in context, I would say no, the author did not use palpable correctly. As a metaphor it means "so obvious it's like you can physically feel it with your hands" and is used to refer to tension, fear, stress, "the stakes", excitement, disappointment etc. This answer seems to use it to mean "ok" or "something you can use" or "acceptable." – Kate Gregory Jul 2 '13 at 12:52
  • I do not know "computerspeak" but did the person who used the word "palpable" mean to use the word "culpable," meaning, roughly, "guilty of" or "blameworthy"? In other words, the hack is to blame, or is guilty of doing something bad. Just a thought. – rhetorician Jul 2 '13 at 13:06
  • @rhetrorician I tried to avoid making the question esoteric. I think the word "hack" is being used to describe something that isn't ideal but does the job. – User 12345678 Jul 2 '13 at 13:12
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    This question appears to be off-topic because even the person who wrote the "unusual" usage admits he made a mistake. – FumbleFingers Jul 2 '13 at 17:27

I just murdered that one, can only claim not being a native English speaker as an excuse.

I meant palatable.


  • Lol. – mplungjan Jul 2 '13 at 13:27
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    didn't notice it was you, Hans. And I honestly never knew English was not your first language. – Kate Gregory Jul 2 '13 at 13:29
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    Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dutch is my native language. My first job there after university got me into the USA. – Hans Passant Jul 2 '13 at 13:37
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    @HansPassant You're an interesting guy. You're also quite the enigma :-p – User 12345678 Jul 2 '13 at 14:03

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