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"functionable" should not be a word.

14 Sep , 2009,
Chip Street
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Add this to the list of words that shouldn’t be words.


I was watching HGTV’s Design Star, and runner up Dan was constantly using the word in describing his spaces. “This is really a functionable space. This kitchen is really functionable. I wanted to make sure I gave them a functionable living room.”

Yes, it’s a word. No, it shouldn’t be a word. We already have a word. It’s called “functional“.

Yes, I’m wrong.

No, I shouldn’t be.

Yes, I’m petty and small.


  1. George Clinton September 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Yo. What’s this I hear you talkin’ smack ’bout what’s funktionable and what ain’t? Jus’ cuz you don’t got the funk don’t mean we can’t be choosin’ it, usin’ it and abusin’ it. Damn. That shit’s jus’ cruel…
    ~ G. Clinton

  2. Ross December 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm Reply

    I agree! When I hear someone use “functionable,” I automatically think that person is trying too hard to appear more intelligent, which makes me think the exact opposite.

    • crankydog January 21, 2010 at 12:08 am Reply

      Ah, but who are we to argue with Webster’s, huh? I’ll boycott the word. Maybe, the less it’s used, it’ll just wither up and disappear… like an appendix.

  3. Bree December 12, 2009 at 9:10 pm Reply

    I am so glad you posted this — because I was just watching House Hunters and this woman said “I think this kitchen layout is very functionable.” I started cracking up. But then I figured I should look it up. I was shocked that it’s actually a word! It is apparently prevalent in the design world. I’m glad I’m not the only one bugged out by it!

  4. Mr. X February 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm Reply

    If it makes you guys feel better, Open Office (A free alternative to Microsoft Word) doesn’t acknowledge functionable. It doesn’t think it’s a word. Neither does Firefox.

    • claudette September 11, 2011 at 4:52 am Reply

      my MS Word in the mac format shows it in red!! i’m happy :) and so does facebook! haha

  5. Mr. Dictionary March 26, 2010 at 8:42 am Reply

    Thank you for this post. I proofread copy for a catalog, and I have repeatedly rejected functionable as “not a word.” I was loath to admit that it is an actual word, BUT I will still not allow it in the catalog. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t tell me that flustrated is a word, too. If it is, I’m switching to another language.

  6. chipstreet April 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm Reply

    So happy to know I’m not alone. Can we start a petition or something? Everyone who wants the word removed from the dictionary (and more importantly the daily lexicon) sign below!

  7. Verbosest August 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm Reply

    “Functionable” is not a word., much like Wikipedia, is not a credible reference. Merriam-Webster, a legit source, does not recognize it as such. If functionable is a word, then you could just as easily say that “functionably,” “functionability,” “dysfunctionable” and “malfunctionable” are also words.

  8. Chip Street August 9, 2010 at 5:32 am Reply

    Webster is a legit source. Is it THE legit source? I dunno. It’s listed as a word at (for better or worse), it’s listed in the Random House dictionary… but mostly, it’s in common usage, which means sooner or later it’ll end up in Webster… as did “D’oh”. Webster is, after all, not all that picky.

    Point is, I hate it. I think we all do. Wanna keep it outta Webster’s? Get people to stop saying it.

  9. michelle February 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm Reply

    What’s wrong with the word functional? I don’t mean to sound nasty, but if you don’t know the meaning of a word, then you shouldn’t use it. It’s like having a conversation and not being well informed about your topic. You just don’t sound very bright.

    • Chip Street February 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm Reply

      Hmmm… hard to tell if it’s a rhetorical question, or if you’ve misunderstood? I, of course, prefer “functional”. Or is the “you” in your message pointed at the defenders of “functionable” and not the “me” “you”? ;)

      Glad you dropped by. Welcome to the gang.

      • Donna May 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm Reply

        Well…having just been exposed to the above-debated “functionable” (also heard on HGTV), I rushed to my trusted & with great relief was informed that same was NOT a word. HOWEVER, I could not resist the search that revealed your entry beginning “functionable should not be a word.” I’ve read all the comments and, disconcerting as it may be to learn that SOME dictionaries have already accepted this as an acceptable option for our time-honored “functioal,” I am hereby adding my voice to all those who declare with you, “functionable should not be a word.” How/where do I get a vote?

  10. claudette September 11, 2011 at 4:51 am Reply

    omg! i was just watching it and got so irritated! i had to post in FB …and google it…was directed to your blog :)

  11. melissa December 15, 2011 at 5:58 am Reply

    Pertaining to function. Functional
    Able to function. Functionable

    The change in suffix causes a change in perception for those who pay attention to detail.

  12. Tedd January 2, 2012 at 2:08 am Reply

    while you’re on about functionable on HGTV don’t forget about “relatotor ,foy-er, and rotundra”.

  13. Mr. Crocker April 22, 2012 at 4:55 am Reply

    Don’t like it either! The made up word, “functionable” can be used to describe something with the potential to function, but currently does not. “Functional” would mean that something currently functions. Still misused anyway. That said, I do not believe it to be a proper word. Why not use the phrase, “This could function” or “This could be functional”? It sounds much less stupid.

    If you want to continue to sound stupid then just keep saying, “functionable”


  14. UABKO March 11, 2013 at 8:41 am Reply

    I completely agree, functionable should not be a word. I heard my girlfriend say it last night and started cracking up. I told her it wasn’t a word. Of course that led to me looking it up and finding that in fact it is a word. Anyway, don’t use functionable if sounding intelligent is important to you.

  15. david cargill June 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm Reply

    I guess I have to reluctantly add functionable to the list of words that may ultimately become “real” but will never cross my lips. Not unlike flustrated — I first heard that when I was in the Army, in the 1980s. I chalked it up to “Southern speak,” like “chester draws” (chest of drawers). LOL. I offer no apologies for being a New Yorker.

    Thanks for posting this; it’s nice to know I am not alone when I cringe at functionable.

  16. Lisa March 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm Reply

    So, what is the credible source on “functionable”? I am also a believer that it should not be a real word; like many others, heard it on HGTV and it just sounded wrong and in my research, it seems to be on the cusp of being widely accepted as a real word – rather disturbing.

  17. just-checking March 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply

    Funny. Was just watching HGTV and decided to look up the word functionable. it just doesn’t sound right. I agree it should not be used. It sounds as if someone is throwing words together with which they are not familiar.familiar. Vote NO!

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