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Just as the heading says: How do we hyphenate (in the sense of: divide at the end of a line) the word configurable?

  • I was quite surprised that Merriam-Webster doesn't know that word.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary neither shows hyphenation nor syllabication.
  • Microsoft Word 2010 offers con-fig-u-ra-ble, which I believe to be incorrect since I have read somewhere that a- at the end of a line, followed by ble at the begin of the next line would mislead the reader in most cases, and that able therefore usually should be kept together.
  • hunspell (which drives most open-source projects like OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and the like) says con+fig+urable, which I believe to be correct, but not complete.

My personal feeling is that it could be con+fig+ur+able, but as a native German speaker who never has been in a country where English is spoken as primary language, I am lost at this point.

Could somebody please help me out?

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Hyphenation for breaking words across lines in English is quite arcane — see this question.

In AmE, it should be

con-fig-ur-able.

We hyphenate configure as con-fig-ure, as dictionaries can tell you. The ur should not be broken up because it's an r-influenced vowel, and American English doesn't usually break them up. And the ending should be hyphenated as in pleasurable (plea-sur-able), whose ending is pronounced the same.

British English hyphenates r-influenced vowels different from American English, and I don't know what the rules are. But I don't think anybody is going to object if you use the AmE hyphenation for this word.

  • Thank you very much, +1 and accepted. In fact, I am more after American English than after British English. So AmE does not keep able together in most cases? Could you please give a short explanation regarding the difference between configurable and pleasurablewith respect to the able (-ur-a-ble in one case and -ur-able in the other)? – Binarus Aug 4 '18 at 16:02
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    Actually, that was a typo. I meant to write -able. However, this depends on the dictionary. American Heritage Dictionary breaks these words -a-ble. But Merriam-Webster keeps -able together (which would be my recommendation). This discrepancy is why my answer was inconsistent. – Peter Shor Aug 4 '18 at 16:06

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