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I'm looking for a single word that means "able to be prioritized" that is suitable for use in a scientific paper.

"Prioritizable" is essentially what I want, but in my searching this does not appear to be an actual word. (Definitions are from crowd sourced, not authoritative sources.)

Since it is my understanding that it is generally bad practice to use such non-words in scientific literature, I'm looking for a suitable alternative.

  • A scientific paper on what topic? – Third News Apr 4 '14 at 2:32
  • @ThirdNews Computer science. I'll spare you the details, but if you are interested it's an extension of my latest paper found on my website (linked to in my profile). – cledoux Apr 7 '14 at 15:31
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Dictionaries only record words whose usage has been noted. Words are created by the people who speak the language. -able is a productive suffix which is attached to many words. In this case, priortizable may be a non-standard word, but its meaning is clear. You do not need a dictionary's blessing to use the word.

Also, scientific literature is full of neologisms. Embrace the tradition!

I should also add that prioritize itself seems to be a recent coining. The Google ngram for its use shows essentially nothing before 1960.

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Etymology Online has:

1972, apparently coined during the U.S. presidential contest that year, from root of priority + -ize.

So don't be afraid to stretch this new word into newer territory by adding more suffixes as needed. As long as it's clear what you mean, it is a concise way of explaining things.

  • As long as the meaning is well-defined within the paper (as the paper must define what "priority" means for the items in question, and how they distinguish items which are prioritizable from those which aren't), then this is perfectly acceptable. – Wlerin Apr 2 '14 at 20:51
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You could use "rankable" as long as the context is sufficiently clear that the rank indicates priority.

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How about "hierarchizable?"

hierarchy: a system of persons or things arranged in a graded order.

hierarchize: to arrange in a hierarchy.

Also, consider "alphabetizable" and "systematizable:"

alphabetize: to arrange in alphabetical order.

systematize: to organize (something) by using a system. E.g. The computer program systematizes the program and enters it into a table.

And "sequenceable:"

sequence: to organize or arrange in a sequence.

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