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?

  • 1
    Either It could become so intensely bad coding it could be touched and felt or the other Easily perceived; obvious
    – mplungjan
    Jul 2, 2013 at 12:47
  • 4
    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." Jul 2, 2013 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. Jul 2, 2013 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. Jul 2, 2013 at 13:12
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because even the person who wrote the "unusual" usage admits he made a mistake. Jul 2, 2013 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


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

I meant palatable.


  • Lol.
    – mplungjan
    Jul 2, 2013 at 13:27
  • 2
    didn't notice it was you, Hans. And I honestly never knew English was not your first language. Jul 2, 2013 at 13:29
  • 2
    Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dutch is my native language. My first job there after university got me into the USA. Jul 2, 2013 at 13:37
  • 5
    @HansPassant You're an interesting guy. You're also quite the enigma :-p Jul 2, 2013 at 14:03

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