Leslie is Wrong

December 12, 2006

Leslie has a right to have her opinion about the definition of actionable

The word actionable only means one thing. It means “Subject to or giving cause for legal proceedings.” So if you say “Here are some actionable steps” or “Here is an actionable list” (and I’m not linking because the errors are often made by people I genuinely love and respect who are far smarter than me) you are saying “Here are some things you can sue over.” But the context you’re using clearly says you are not referring to our great judicial system but browbeating actionable to try to mean something a person can do, like an action item

but even the definition she links to gives a second definition

Relating to or being information that allows a decision to be made or action to be taken.

What gets me is people who believe they can put down rules for the English language. language by definition is a maliable thing that evolves with the culture. To try and stop it is impossible. It also makes the person complaining look like a stick in the mud.


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