10

According to wiktionary.org they are synonyms. However, most words have a slight difference in the way or in which context they are used. I would like to know those differences.

For example, when one has two mathematical models that describe data where you have an error measure to see their performance. Would you rather say A) or B) or is it really synonymous?

A) The performance differences of model alpha and model beta are negligible.

B) The performance differences of model alpha and model beta are neglectable.

6
5

I wouldn't use sentence B. Negligible means small enough to be ignored. Neglectable is just too archaic, and suggests, to me at least, a piece of fruit you could safely ignore by leaving it on the ground to rot.

1
  • 1
    You should add the link to Google Ngrams (as well as an image of the plot) posted above in the comments to support your answer with data. – Martin Thoma Oct 21 '14 at 4:38
5

They seem to mean separate things:

Negligible suggests "so small in size that it can be discarded"

Neglectable suggests a more wilful action, neglecting something or someone, because of a perceived lack of worth, not because of size.

It seems a pity to throw away the word "neglectable" just because is used less: it brings up the notion of "neglect", whereas negligible does not.

1
  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! This is correct, though it's helpful to add citations if you find relevant ones. – SuperBiasedMan Feb 25 '16 at 11:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.