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I came across this when developing a computer system in an object-oriented way. That is grouping data and functionality which relate to each other into objects and give those objects names.

Now, currently, I work on the only a part of the system which provides mutable state in the form of objects one can interact with, in a domain-specific sense. I was about to call them Interactables, I realized, however, that this is not a well-defined word.

The question is, is there an alternative noun for thing you interact with in the english language. And if not, what would be the preferred way to spell this word: Interactible or Interactable?

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    "Interact" strictly means that you act on it and it acts on you; I think you just want a word for something you act on, which might be object.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 9, 2023 at 11:22
  • yes, good point. With the actor being the subject. By now I found out about IEML in which subject and object are two of the 25 lowercase letters: intlekt.io/25-basic-categories
    – Bruno Zell
    Jul 12, 2023 at 19:14

3 Answers 3

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You have two problems: interactable isn't a common word and if it were, it would be an adjective, not a noun.

Fortunately, the first problem is easily solved.

Interactive adjective

1 : mutually or reciprocally active

2 : involving the actions or input of a user

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interactive

As to the second problem, interactive is certainly much more often an adjective, but you can find it used as a noun, especially, as Wiktionary says, as "a feature (as in a museum) that can be interacted with."

For example:

Given how rapidly technology, delivery platforms, and interfaces are changing, it's not surprising that today's teens might find interactives in the museums outdated and pretty boring

Shivers Down Your Spine: Cinema, Museums, and the Immersive View

There has been a slow trickle of research...on the use-value of interactives within museum environments and art galleries.

Museums in the New Mediascape: Transmedia, Participation, Ethics

Those are clearly different uses than the one you're proposing, but they illustrate that the word's meaning is likely obvious enough that a new coinage will be easily understood.

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  • Interesting, so it interactives is probably better suited than interactables then. Is there any word referring to the act of making a noun from an adjective? (for instance it's interactive -> all interactives). I see this all the time in IT. A quick Google search, for example, points to this article devoted to Interactables.
    – Bruno Zell
    Nov 13, 2019 at 1:01
  • Well, actually there would be ambiguity between the singular of interactives and the original adjective. It's quite hard to use it as a noun without a proper singular.
    – Bruno Zell
    Nov 13, 2019 at 1:04
  • Or interactors 🤔
    – Bruno Zell
    Nov 13, 2019 at 1:32
  • @BrunoZell, interactive would be the singular form of the noun. My examples all used interactives because it's easier to search for, since you know it's a noun, while interactive would most likely be an adjective.
    – Juhasz
    Nov 13, 2019 at 16:17
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Google corrects "interactible" to "interactable", so to me, that's a definitive answer that it's spelled "Interactable" with an "a".

Urban Dictionary has a definition for "Interactable" with an "a": https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Interactable

An object that you are able to interact with, to manipulate.

So although it's a user-defined word, it shows that there are people who use the word "interactable", which is enough to make it an official word, right?

But using that logic, you can find a lot of other people who use "interactible" with an "i", which makes that version also a word, and therefore also acceptable.

IMHO, I'd say the version with an "a" is better, because it contains the word "able", which is a key part of the meaning: "able to interacted with".

The word is "Interactable" with an "a".

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  • Please explain your answer with more research.
    – livresque
    Oct 3, 2020 at 2:37
  • For me Google corrects it to "intractable" which has another meaning.
    – Bruno Zell
    Oct 3, 2020 at 12:32
  • @BrunoZell you're right. i didnt even notice that lol Oct 5, 2020 at 1:38
  • << ... although it's a user-defined word, it shows that there are people who use the word "interactable", which is enough to make it an official word, right? >> No. the term 'non-word' exists to cover candidates that are not considered to have made it into the lexicon. There needs to be a reasonable level of use / understanding. Two schoolchildren may come up with say 'pargyano' but their using and understanding it doesn't confer wordness. Jul 8, 2023 at 14:01
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I can find references to both interactible and interactble used as nouns to talk about objects in video games; however, "interactable" with an "a" appears to be more common.

For interactable:

For interactible:

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