Why is “Rectangled” not accepted usage (MS Word (and MS Outlook) always consider it a mistake)?

For example, here is the usage in a sentence:

Select the “CTF” entry (rectangled above), and then click the “OK” button that will become enabled.

If I write “circled” instead of "rectangled," that is accepted.

So why is “rectangled” not accepted?

Here is an example of something (a tree) being circled and something else (a rock) being rectangled:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Because it sounds ugly.
    – Ricky
    Oct 11 '18 at 0:44
  • 2
    It just doesn't square with idiomatic English.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 11 '18 at 0:47
  • 4
    It is a word. It is accepted usage according to the OED, but it is not frequently used. Word-checking software is not an authority on language, but rather a tool for assisting as much as a computer can. Your sentence is fine. Oct 11 '18 at 1:20
  • 4
    Go ahead and use it. There's no law against it. MS Word doesn't dictate how you use the language. Nothing dictates how anyone uses the language, in fact, which is why questions asking "why" are essentially unanswerable.
    – choster
    Oct 11 '18 at 1:21
  • 3
    I know it isn't what you were asking, but if you are just annoyed by MS Word highlighting it for correction, you can right-click on it and select 'Add to dictionary' to add it to your local custom dictionary. Then it won't underline it in future.
    – Spagirl
    Oct 11 '18 at 10:48

Microsoft is marking this word because it's so uncommon that a typical English reader might not understand it if you used it without a visual example on the same page.

The word (and this usage) is uncommon because the word "boxed" is much more commonly used to describe a region of an image enclosed in a rectangular line.

Why do we use "boxed" more often than "rectangled"? Maybe because "boxed" is shorter and easier to say, or maybe just because the evolution of a language is unpredictable.

  • 1
    @Kris, even if it is a documented word, it's pretty uncommon: Ngrams link
    – The Photon
    Oct 11 '18 at 16:19
  • 1
    Also, it looks like much of the usage of rectangled is for the meaning "having a right angle" rather than "having a box drawn around it". For example, I see many usages where (in the 19th C) a right triangle is called a "rectangled triangle".
    – The Photon
    Oct 11 '18 at 16:22
  • 1
    Many words may have synonyms/alternatives but that would not make the original word incorrect or unacceptable.
    – Kris
    Oct 12 '18 at 7:26
  • 1
    @Kris, Microsoft is marking the word because it is so uncommon that a typical reader might not understand it if you used it without a visual example on the same page. Why is it uncommon? Because there is an alternative and most speakers seem to like that alternative better. Why do they like it better? That's not for me to say.
    – The Photon
    Oct 12 '18 at 16:27

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