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I am a software developer and am having trouble with naming an entity. In my project, by convention, we give our code objects capabilities by extending them with a module named with an "-able" suffix. This implies:

capable of, susceptible of, fit for, tending to, given to

Some examples include:

  • Movable
  • Trashable
  • Visible

I need to express a capability meaning "able to transfer". Transferable doesn't seem to fit because I'm not transferring the object, rather the object is doing the transferring.

What is a good term for "able to transfer" ending in an -able suffix?

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    "I need to express a capability meaning "able to transfer". Transferable doesn't seem to fit because I'm not transferring the object, rather the object is doing the transferring." Based on this, I would say your examples don't really fit. Visible means something can be seen, not that it has the capability of sight. Movable means that something can be moved, not that it has the capability to move on its own.
    – Lumberjack
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:22
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    I agree. Transferable means "capable of being transferred_, just like Movable means "capable of being moved" and Visible means "capable of being seen". All your -able/-ible terms have a built-in passive already, so Transferable matches the convention. Aug 7, 2014 at 17:58
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Naming, including naming programming variables/classes, which is specifically out of bounds according to our rules at english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic .
    – Hellion
    Aug 7, 2014 at 18:46
  • @Hellion - I disagree. The context could be anything - I could have just phrased the question as "What is a good term for "able to transfer" ending in an -able suffix?" in the context of describing bank accounts, diseases, or jobs in a newspaper article. I'm not asking for help in naming something, I'm looking for the correct word to describe an action. Aug 7, 2014 at 19:07
  • Then you probably shouldn't have started your question with "I'm a software developer and am having trouble with naming an entity." :-)
    – Hellion
    Aug 7, 2014 at 19:12

3 Answers 3

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You ready for this?

cable: (n.) a wire used for transmitting electricity or telecommunication signals.

That is, as a noun it's an object capable of transmitting information. Furthermore

cable: (v., trans.) To provide with cable(s)

as a verb, it provides the capability to transfer information by connecting the two endpoints.

And, just so it's not overlooked, 'c' + 'able' :)

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    +1 for a clever answer that may or may not be what the asker is looking for.
    – user85526
    Aug 7, 2014 at 18:51
  • It's going to be exactly what he's looking for when he realizes he's going to be able to type "class Connection extends Cable" :)
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 18:55
  • That does look very good. vessel and ferry are what I thought of, but cable is just nicer as a class name.
    – user85526
    Aug 7, 2014 at 18:59
  • I wouldn't use cable because it is merely the passive medium that the transfer happens on.
    – Oldcat
    Aug 7, 2014 at 23:23
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I agree with Lumberjack's comment on your question:

Based on this, I would say your examples don't really fit. Visible means something can be seen, not that it has the capability of sight. Movable means that something can be moved, not that it has the capability to move on its own.

I wonder if perhaps it is possible to change the naming convention you use for modules that can affect a certain class. In my experience, a module like that could be an "-er" (e.g.: Mail has a module named Mailer). More commonly though, you would append or prepend a word or abbreviation that indicates that the module affects the class (e.g.: Mail could have a module called MailHandler or MailInterface or IMail).

I suspect that Transferrer or TransferHandler may be the name you need in order to convey the correct idea, but according to your current naming conventions, it is not the name you want.

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  • That last sentence could be rephrased: it's the name you deserve but not the name you need right now. ;) Aug 9, 2014 at 2:47
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A dog able to sing would be a singing dog. How about transferring?

(I know it doesn't end able but I think you've set yourself a hard challenge there!)

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  • As a native North American English speaker, were I to hear that something is transferring, I would think that it is in the process of being transferred. I think some further context would be required before I really understood what you wanted me to understand.
    – Lumberjack
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:24
  • Could be either way. If a Fax machine is sending a Fax, you can say the Fax is transferring (via machine), or the machine is transferring a Fax.
    – Oldcat
    Aug 7, 2014 at 23:25

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