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Is there any evidence of this being an alternative spelling of referenceable rather than a plain misspelling?

See grammar in -able:

"While a terminal silent -e is usually dropped when adding a suffix beginning with a vowel, which is followed by -able, the -e is not dropped when adding -able if the root ends with a soft -ce and -ge, as in replaceable and changeable, so that these are not misinterpreted as hard ‘c’ or ‘g’ sounds."

See also these adjectives derived from verbs ending on "-ce":

See also these adjectives derived from verbs ending on "-ge":

--PanchoS (talk) 15:26, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Grammatical rule[edit]

Here's some more notions of the general rule which should sufficiently support the assertion that referenceable needs to be spelled with the medium -e-. Especially the citation from the Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style should be convincing.
  • "4. Normally you drop a silent e before adding a vowel suffix. However, if the word ends in -ce or -ge and the incoming vowel is an a, o, or u, you cannot cavalierly toss out that silent e. It is not useless: it is keeping its left-hand letter soft, and your a, o, or u will not do that. Thus:
    • manage - manageable 
    • peace - peaceable 
    • courage - courageous 
    • revenge - vengeance
    • surge - surgeon 
    • change - changeable 
    • notice - noticeable 
    • outrage - outrageous"
in: English spelling rules
  • "4.2 words ending in -ce or -ge The e is retained to preserve the sound of the consonant, e.g. advantageous, courageous, knowledgeable, noticeable, manageable, peaceable."
in: Dropping silent e
  • "The only situation that comes to mind where an -e- is absolutely required before -able is when it modifies the pronunciation of a consonant, typically g or c:
    • Manageable (g as in giant) versus managable (g as in gut)
    • Traceable (c as in once) versus tracable (c as in cut)"
"Let me clarify for you that there is a general rule that when "g" or "c" is followed by "e", "i" or "y" it has the soft sound (g->j, c->s), but when followed by any other letter it has the hard sound (c like k, g like ... g)."
From a discussion in
  • "Dropping or retaining the Medial -e-
[...] Although writers formerly put an -e- before -able, both AmE and BrE generally drop the medial -e-, except in words with a soft -c- (traceable) or a soft -g- (chargeable)"
in: Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style
--PanchoS (talk) 15:40, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

RFV discussion[edit]

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Is there any evidence of "referencable" being an alternative spelling of "referenceable" rather than a plain misspelling? See also: Talk:referencable --PanchoS (talk) 11:24, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Cited. It seems relatively rare. Equinox 17:29, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
We really need the letter ç in English: referençable would make perfect sense. —Angr 17:34, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
We do have it in façade, but *referençable wouldn’t make sense in the lender language either. Michael Z. 2013-06-25 21:58 z
Thanks! However, the citations might just prove that it's a somewhat common misspelling, finally two of the three citations are related to IT, and programmers are not exactly famous for being spelling experts, see referer... :)
I added some more grammar references on Talk:referencable and an explanation why this clarification is quite urgent for us (on Wiktionary:Tea_room#referencable).
I've been looking around quite much on Wiktionary pages, but couldn't find any policies regarding authoritative answers on whether some spelling is considered "alternative" and when it is considered a "misspelling". But in this case I'd clearly say "misspelling" that shouldn't be further proliferated.
--PanchoS (talk) 19:24, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Not cited – source no. 3 only mistyped it in one out of at least three occurrences. Try harder, oh noble reformers of English. Michael Z. 2013-06-25 21:58 z
Source no. 2 also uses spellings de-referenceable (p 881), dereferenceable (p 145), and dereferencable (three occurrences). The guy couldn’t spell and lacked thorough proofreading. If you can only cite a spelling to the letter of the guideline and not well enough to convince anybody, then I would move this to a vote in the Tea Room or Beer Parlour. Michael Z. 2013-06-25 22:09 z
If a work alternates between using a standard spelling and a nonstandard one, the occurrences of the nonstandard spelling are typically seen as misspellings/typos, not as intentional spellings. If Michael is correct that two of the sources alternate between the e-spelling and the e-less one, those two citations aren't usable. - -sche (discuss) 22:38, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The mis-spelling seems to occur often in technical books, but that makes it a common mis-spelling, not an alternative one. Do we take inclusionism too far? Dbfirs 06:30, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Often I find that there is evidence (name, institutional affiliation, biographical information) that the authors of technical works that contain this kind of spelling are not native speakers. I would be willing to place an even-money bet on the instances without such supporting evidence, too. In this case, is there enough usage to make it a "common misspelling", but not so much to make it an alternative spelling? We've never agreed on quantitative criteria, but shouldn't the proportion of contemporary usage should be more than 5% to be "common", certainly with more than three contemporary instances. I do think we need to focus on contemporary usage to make a prescriptive-type claim about the word. DCDuring TALK 09:46, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but being a native speaker doesn't mean being spelling proficient, especially regarding English spelling. Just like the Anglosaxon law system, English spelling and pronunciation are largely irregular rather than rule-based. Still there is something like correct vs. incorrect, but quite many English native speakers tend not to care too much.
So while overall being much less proficient in English, non-native speakers often care more about the few spelling rules there are, just the way they are used to it from their own native language. This holds even more for loan words such as this one. In Romanic languages, subtleties like a 'softening e' coercively determine pronunciation, so native speakers of Romanic languages tend to be accurate about them.
And finally, my native language is German, and I'm definitely less proficient in English than a native speaker, but this didn't prevent me from having a strong feeling that this spelling was wrong, doing a bit of research and filing this Rfv... :) --PanchoS (talk) 20:06, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I intentionally limited my statement to what seems to be true in my experience: technical articles, conference proceedings etc, authored by non-native speakers seem to contain spelling mistakes in greater abundance than one might expect. It's just a hard-to-support hypothesis that might help in marshaling real evidence. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Cited or not, I've changed it to {{misspelling of}} because it is one. —Angr 13:49, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
How do you know that it is a misspelling? The available evidence does not suggest it is a misspelling: Google Ngram Viewer: color,colour; Google Ngram Viewer: referencable,referenceable; Google Ngram Viewer: abatage,abattage; Google Ngram Viewer: conceive,concieve. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:41, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
All that shows is that it's a common misspelling, which is what the template says. You know it's a misspelling because it's not sanctioned by authoritative dictionaries. Spelling is artificial and is imposed by external authorities (unlike language, which is native to all human beings and whose nonstandard forms cannot meaningfully be said to be "wrong"). I'm all in favor of descriptivism rather than prescriptivism when it comes to linguistic matters, but orthography (spelling and punctuation) is nonlinguistic and can fairly be called "right" or "wrong". —Angr 20:53, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I disagre that "You know it's a misspelling because it's not sanctioned by authoritative dictionaries". Mispeling is a real think present in writen language even in the absence of autoritative dictioanries. It can be detceted based on frequency. Mispelings, even comon ones, have very high frequnecy ratio to their mainstream alterntives; Google Ngram Viewer: conceive,concieve has frequency ratio of 1000 aka 1:1000. I disagree with deciding what is and what is not a misspelling using dictionaries. Many mispelings can be easly identfied without any dctionary and even witout looking at corpus frequency. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:18, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

For better idea, here follows a table with some frequency ratios:

{| class="wikitable" |- ! Short Term ! Long Term ! Ngram ! Frequency Ratio in Year 2000 |- | referencable | referenceable | [ Ngram ] | 8 |- | experiencable | experienceable | [ Ngram] | 10 |- | influencable | influenceable | [ Ngram] | 16,5 |- | sequencable | sequenceable | [ Ngram] | 6 |- | servicable | serviceable | [ Ngram] | 156 |- | enforcable | enforceable | [ Ngram] | 860 |- | replacable | replaceable | [ Ngram] | 190 |- | colour | color | [ Ngram] | 3,4 |- | behaviour | behavior | [ Ngram] | 2,8 |- | rigour | rigor | [ Ngram] | 2 |} There are three groups in the table. The 1st one is referenceable, experiencable, influencable, and sequencable. The 2nd one is serviceable, etc. The third one is color, etc. They show distinct frequency ratios. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:50, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Dictionaries: "referenceable" at OneLook Dictionary Search finds nothing, so what are the dictionaries that have the allegedly correct spelling but not the other one? I have also explicitly checked referenceable . --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:37, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem with the first group is that the words are so rare that they do not appear in many dictionaries (yet). Of the four, the OED has only experienceable (but not experiencable of course). For such words, I think it's safest to assume that they follow the normal rules of English spelling until we have definite evidence to the contrary. A small number of instances from writers or typesetters who make other errors in spelling would not provide convincing evidence of an alternative spelling. Usage by three writers who are normally careful about spelling would convince me. I don't agree with your edits to influencable and sequencable because I don't accept that ratios alone provide sufficient evidence for such rare words. Try looking at the ngrams for influencability and sequencability. Dbfirs 11:57, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the words not appearing in dictionaries should be a problem for anything. I don't accept the view that correctness of spelling is decided by dictionaries. You have said that ratios alone do not provide sufficient evidence, without indicating what other evidence (evidence, not authority) could be used to find out whether a spelling is correct. I don't see anything interesting in the Ngrams that you have linked to; the second one finds nothing at all. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:34, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly! If sequencable were a word, then sequencability should be also. (.. or am I expecting too much logic in spelling?) I stated above the evidence I would expect: "Usage by three writers who are normally careful about spelling would convince me." Statistical significance of ratios is suspect because of rarity of usage. (See wikipedia:Statistical significance#Signal–noise ratio conceptualisation of significance) Dbfirs 21:03, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Re: "If sequencable were a word, then sequencability should be also.": Not at all. There is no linguistic law saying that each adjective has to have a corresponding -ness or -ity noun. Indeed, the empirical evidence refutes the would-be law in countless instances. I don't see what makes you think that logic dictates that language obeys that law; if this were a law, it would be an empirical law of linguistics rather than logic. In any case, nothing I have learned in logic courses AKA courses of correct inference points to there being such a law of logic. As for statistical significance, that argument might have some merit, but I don't see you determining any numerical index of statistical significance of the data. As for the writers normally careful about their spelling, I suppose that is an answer to my complaint about other evidence. Can you show that the writers whose quotations are now placed into referencable are not careful about their spelling? Put differently, can you find other word forms that look like misspellings in the works of these authors? --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:17, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
It would be a very irregular word that obeyed the normal rule of spelling in the "--ability" form but disobeyed it in the "--able" form. I know that English spelling is sometimes irregular, but surely not this irregular! If I had access to the works of the authors, or even to the work cited, then I'd be able to check. Dbfirs 17:13, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
...later... To be fair, I am able to see the text of Mark Ambrose's book (a well-written reply to Nietzsche's Will to Power) and he seems to use standard American spelling throughout (except when quoting John Donne, of course). He uses the spelling "referencable" just once. Dbfirs 17:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Passed. It has enough citations; disputing them or deciding whether the term is a misspelling is not an RFV issue. — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:55, 4 October 2013 (UTC)