Learn English – Are “commentable” and “categorizable” proper


Can I say "commentable and categorizable"? If not, what are some one word alternatives to use, to say that something can be commented on or categorized?

I would like to use the words for database column names, so there is no actual context. But if you want I could use this sentence:

The content is commentable and categorizable.

I just wanted to know if these words are acceptable terms or if I misunderstood something.

Best Answer

Categorizable is already in some dictionaries, so no problems there.

The problem with commentable is that what you really want to say is comment-on-able, but we can't use -able with phrasal verbs.

So here are your alternatives:

  1. Just say commentable anyway. If people understand what you mean, then there's no problem.
  2. Say comment-on-able.
  3. Find a one word synonym for comment on. I can't think of an exact synonym, but there are plenty of words that might be suitable, depending on context: e.g. discuss(able), criticize (criticizable), append(able), annotate (annotatable), etc.

Which you choose is a matter of personal taste and context. For example, if I was documenting computer software, and if the term comment was already widely used and understood, I would choose 1, because consistent terminology is more important than formal grammatical correctness.