"functionable" should not be a word.

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.

41 thoughts on “"functionable" should not be a word.

  1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. Absolutely ! Functional is correct. Also; functionality shows stupidness. Instead of functionality, educated people use the existing noun, FUNCTION.

      1. The irony of your comment… While similar the words functionality and function can serve different purposes.

        You should educate yourself on the differences.

  3. 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. 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.

  5. 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. 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. “Functionable” is not a word. Dictionary.com, 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. Webster is a legit source. Is it THE legit source? I dunno. It’s listed as a word at Dictionary.com (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. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Well…having just been exposed to the above-debated “functionable” (also heard on HGTV), I rushed to my trusted m-w.com/dictionary & 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?

      2. You prefer functional? That’s like saying you prefer work to workable. The two words have similar… but… different… meanings….

        1. Not logical. Your argument makes zero sense. Functional is to function as workable is to work. We don’t have ” workal and we don’t need functionable.

  10. 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. Pertaining to function. Functional
    Able to function. Functionable

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

    1. Thank you sorry but love the word and i use it all the time. People even think i made it up. To me there is a big difference in the two words

  12. 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”


  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. After my Pastor used it the other day, I had to look it up as my husband hates the word and every time I use it. I was so delighted to see that it exists, even if a million people do not think that it should. We were raised in different states. I wonder if that could have anything to do with how people feel about the word functionable.? He was raised in the Washington D.C. area. I was raised in an industrial area in Pennsylvania.. There are other words I grew up with that make him cringe. But he loves me anyway,

  18. It belongs only in the George Bush Dictionary of mispronounced words along with orientate. I don’t care if they are acceptable; they are unnecessary

  19. I’ve heard functionable twice on HGTV in the past two days. If it is a ‘mash up’ word of functional and fashionable, it’s not being used correctly.

  20. The following quote is taken from chipstreet.com and though I’m not a fan, it actually makes sense:

    “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.”

    So, there you have it. Perhaps we all should extend more grace regarding language seeing as its intended purpose is to be able to communicate with each other (“functional” communication if you will), and not rate perspective intelligence levels.

    Ok- bring on the hate mail…

    1. It’s just as made up as other words haha all words are made up. Ending words with able ” sort of means can this be don?” Cleanable, workable, touchable etc

    2. Ending words with able is common. It doesn’t make it more made up haha

      Clean-able, work-able, function-able

      Now think of words that end in just -al…. right..

  21. I looked up ‘functionable’ because I have a use for it, and found this conversation. I agree that no word should ever be used inappropriately, and when inappropriately used just for effect the effect on me is — well, the opposite of what is usually intended! Allergic to posers. I am writing a national Engineering Standard, and need to define one word to mean an individual piece of ‘kit’, and another to mean what you potentially get when you assemble those pieces. My objection to ‘Functional’ is exactly as JustKarl says. ‘Functionable’ it will (probably!) be.

  22. Got bored enough at an airport and stumbled upon this.. the thing is, all words are made up and I don’t think we had a deadline for when English speakers weren’t aloud to invent new ones. Anyone butt hurt about this needs to grow up. Not functionable of you at all

  23. It’s certainly a useful and practicable word. The problem is the dictionary definition is wrong. It’s being simply defined as “functional” but it actually means that something is both functional (it serves its purpose) but also that it is serviceable (it’s not obsolete, broken or in danger of wearing out soon). For example: “My ice fishing hub is functionable, but I look forward to getting a new one next season.”

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