12

For example:

Red and blue are to color as disposable and reusable are to __________

  • 7
    Note that disposability and reusability are not always mutually exclusive. A paper cup is both disposable and reusable. – Kys Nov 17 '16 at 20:57
  • 1
    Cyclability, but it isn't very common. – Phil Sweet Nov 18 '16 at 3:11
  • A and B are to C as D and E are D+ 1 [ity]? It does not work. That would give us: "as disposable and reusable are to reusability". As disposable and reusable are to [some object] and not a quality thereof. Unless the question is rewritten. Just as colors can be red or blue, objects can be disposable or reusable. Color does not collate with the notions given by suffixes with ITY in them. Red and blue are types of color; just as disposable and reusable are types of objects. – Lambie Nov 18 '16 at 14:20
  • @PhilSweet I like where you went with Cyclability. I was thinking Processing. (as in waste processing). – Elby Cloud Dec 2 '16 at 23:07
16

You might consider "reusability", if nothing better is forthcoming. Low reusability would describe the attribute of "disposable".

reusability - noun: the state or quality of being reusable

  • A and B are to C as D and E are D+ 1? It does not work. That would give us: "as disposable and reusable are to reusability". To me, that makes no sense at all. – Lambie Nov 18 '16 at 14:15
14

Consider "durability", which is defined by Merriam-Webster as

staying strong and in good condition over a long period of time

Indeed, consumer goods that are meant to be reused over a relatively long period of time are called durable goods in economic jargon.

  • Best answer so far. – barbecue Nov 17 '16 at 22:20
  • 1
    However, "durable medical equipment" (as defined by health insurance companies in the United States, anyway) includes syringes, catheters, and other items that are labeled by the manufacturer as being non-reusable. – mrog Nov 17 '16 at 23:52
  • I disagree. Durability seems to be more geared towards robustness or the ability to sustain incremental amounts of damage, and as such is the measurement of its resistance. It's close, but not related to, reusability (which I think is the correct word here). – Qix Nov 18 '16 at 5:10
  • 2
    @Lambie There are lots of characteristics where the name of one extreme nearly matches the name of the characteristic itself. As short and long are to length. As weak and strong are to strength. As transparent and opaque are to opacity, or for that matter transparency. – Doug Warren Nov 18 '16 at 14:25
  • 1
    @Lambie: Red and blue can be adjectives, just as disposable and reusable are adjectives. Color and durability (or reusability) are both nouns. Red and blue both describe the color of an object, just as disposable and reusable describe the durability of an object. – James Nov 18 '16 at 15:09
1

No, there isn't, nor anything like it.

While some disposable items are in fact reusable - eg, batteries or paper cups - that is no more a useful or meaningful fact than that all resuable items are disposable.

That which is classified by its makers and distributors and sellers and buyers and users as disposable is, so far as it could matter, meant not to be re-used.

That which is classified by its makers and distributors and sellers and buyers and users as reusable is, so far as it could matter, meant not to be disposed; not lightly, anyway.

If you really want to find meaning in a comparison like "Red and blue are to color as disposable and reusable are to __________" then why not try "to things"?

1

How about usable?

Red and blue are to color as disposable and reusable are to usable.

Red and blue are both colors. Objects that are disposable and objects that are reusable are both usable -- the former once [or perhaps several times, as per Kys's example of a paper (or plastic) cup], the latter an unlimited number of times (for the purpose of answering your question).

M-W:

usable: capable of being used

disposable: designed to be used once and then thrown away

reusable: capable of being used again or repeatedly

These definitions support usable as a solid answer. What disposable and reusable objects have in common is that they are all usable. The number of uses is all that varies.

Instead of the adjective usable, you could use the noun usability, which would parallel the use of the noun color in your example.

M-W:

usability: capable of being used

0

Consider usage [MWD]

  1. the act of using something
  2. the way that something is used
  3. the amount of something that is used
-1

I would think "waste" makes sense here.

Waste is the common factor in both disposable and reusable. You generally re-use something that has already been used and would otherwise be discarded (waste). And something that is disposable is again disposed of after use (waste).

  • I disagree. As long as something can be reused, it's not waste. Waste can be recycled though. Also, consider adding a reference to back up your claim. – 0xFEE1DEAD Nov 17 '16 at 21:07
-7

I'd say: red OR blue is to color as disposable OR reusable is to batteries.

Objects are not usually disposable AND reusable. They are disposable OR reusable.

  • 5
    Except that the terms can be used to describe cleaning products (i.e. disposable wipe versus reusable sponge), cameras, diapers, toothbrushes, and many more things. -1, sorry. – cobaltduck Nov 17 '16 at 16:46
  • AND in this context signifies the formation of ordered pairs, not the logical operator. – goblin Nov 18 '16 at 3:35
  • @cobaltduck I never said there were not others. My main point which none of you downvoters understood is that the conjunction is OR and not AND. I repeat: cameras are disposable OR reusuable. Not disposable AND reusable. So are all the other examples you gave. I chose to only give ONE example. No, AND does not work here. – Lambie Nov 18 '16 at 14:06
  • The answers with all the points state this: A and B are to C as D and E are D+ 1? (the suffix ity being + 1). It does not work. That would give us: "as disposable and reusable are to reusability" (or durability). How can that possibly make logical semantic sense? – Lambie Nov 18 '16 at 14:16
  • 3
    Yes, you are definitely smarter than everyone else here. It must be terribly boring for you. You say that "Red and blue are to color (semantics, not logic) as reusable and disposable are to objects". I say that "Red and blue are to color (a property of objects) as reusable and disposable are to a property of objects". Reusability is a property of objects. I'll stop reading your responses now so that you can have the last word. – James Nov 18 '16 at 15:57

protected by tchrist Feb 4 '18 at 3:18

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