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Re: Spelling of "cachable"

From: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 97 21:55:04 MDT
Message-Id: <9709030455.AA13573@acetes.pa.dec.com>
To: Bob Jernigan <jern@spaceaix.jhuapl.edu>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
    > I think the key here is that British usage might tend towards
    > "cacheable", although my OED is at home so I can't check that
    > while I write this.

    But we're not dealing strictly with english here.  "cache" is a
    french word and if you want an authority then we should turn to
    the Academie.  "cachable" it ain't.  The choice has to be 
    between "cache-able" and "cacheable", the former preferred in
    order to preserve the french stem.
    
According to the OED, "cache" (as a noun, at least) has been used in
English for over 400 years.  This should make it relatively
unnecessary to preserve the French stem.

"Preserve" also happens to have come from French (and if my
20-year-old high-school French serves me, "preserver" is from
the same conjugation as "cacher").  But "preserve", in
the sense that you used it, first appeared in English only
35 years before "cache".  And the OED is quite clear that
one writes "preservable", not "preserveable" (as is my US
dictionary).

    We don't need another "referer".
    
Of course.  But the reason why we all agree about "referer" is
that there is a standard spelling, and the word (according to
the OED, again) dates from 1683 -- long enough to have made it
into the recent releases of our spelling checkers.  As far as
I know, neither "cachable" nor "cacheable" has been used before
the computer age, and we need to make a judgement call.

-Jeff
Received on Tuesday, 2 September 1997 22:03:50 EDT

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