Is "presentability" a word?

My spellcheck is calling me on it, but it looks right.

My fingers are bad today…

Yes, but “wrod” isn’t. :stuck_out_tongue:

Why wouldn’t you just use “appearance”?

Original thread had “word” spelled as **Q.E.D. **indicates. I fixed it.

General Questions Moderator

Sadly, I have a BA and that never occurred to me. Sigh It’s on all my resumes now anyway, too late. Thanks for the reply and the swift correction to my mistake.

Oh, don’t feel bad. I invent words all the time and rely on the dotted red line to keep me honest.

So “presentability” is a perfectly cromulant word? What’ll they think of next.

I don’t think it means the same thing. Appearance is how something/somebody looks. Presentability is the quality of being fit to be seen.

His slovenly appearance detracted from his presentability at the formal event.

His new suit gave him a professional appearance that enhanced his presentability for interviews.

Well those are pleonastic, are they not?

His slovenly appearance was inappropriate at the formal event. (The phrase “slovenly appearance” already semantically entails “not presentable.”)

It is even more apparent in the second one, where I put it to you that presentability can be struck entirely without any loss of semantic content.

His new suit gave him a professional appearance for interviews.

No, there is a distinction. Presentability means “living up to the quality of being presentable” whereas “appearance” just means “how much of the ‘appearance’” quality you have.

If you come dressed in a professionally designed thousand dollar pant and jacket set with a $100 tie, you are just as “presentable” as someone who got the whole shebang from Men’s Wearhouse for $100. But your “appearance” is higher.

Presentable (the adjective) means “living up to the quality of being presentable” which itself is a very pleonastic form of “presentable”

Presentability (the nominalization) means “the attribute of good or shabby looks.” In other words, “appearance.”

Ecoutez bien.
What is Susan’s appeal with the voters, would you say?
She’s electable.
Really, I heard that some have doubts as to her _________.

Sure, you could say “electability” (which isn’t even redlined in my Firefox(!), although “redlined” is(!!)), but it would seem more natural to use “appeal” or “charisma”

I know what “presentability” means, it’s just that there is a “better” (here understood to mean more fluent) word at hand.

I don’t think so; I’ve never seen it used in that context. Can you cite this?

Huh? No. Even if you look it up in the dictionary, you get the headword “presentable” with presentability given as an inflected form (in particular, as the nominalization and synonymous with “presentableness”).

Do you disagree that it is an attribute, the way, say, thinness or portability, are attributes? Do you think it doesn’t have anything to do with looks? Do you think this attribute of “presentability” does not cover the continuum bookended by the gradable opposites of “shabby” and “sharp(-looking)”?

What on earth would you take “presentability” to mean?

This is what we want to see a cite for.

Of course they are, quite deliberately. The juxtaposition was to illustrate that “appearance” is not a synonym for “presentability,” not as an exemplar of good writing style.

Now the question is what do *you *take it to mean. I agree with this post but it contradicts the first post quoted above.

Oh, now we’re back to this. The attribute of “presentability” means “fit to be presented.” It generally means having acceptable or good appearance. It does *not *cover the continuum bookended by the gradable opposites of “shabby” and “sharp(-looking).” “Shabby” is not presentable. A shabby person does not have presentability.

I think here is the confusion. I take presentability to mean the attribute that falls on the continuum of shabby-sharp. As in:

*By tidying up the living room, dusting, and wiping down the surfaces, I worked on the house’s presentability before the buyers came over.
(Notice also that appearance could be substituted here.)

The house was in an unpresentable condition before, by cleaning up, I improved its presentability.

Given its considerable weight, this laptop’s portability leaves a lot to be desired.

Here again (able-adjective)+ility is used to indicate an attribute, even though the item in question (the heavy laptop) may be towards the non+(able-adjective) end of the spectrum (not really portable).

Perhaps a better way of defining presentability would have been “the attribute of being presentable or not.”

Presentable (or portable or electable) can only affirm the feature in question. However, presentability (or portability or electability) can be thought to describe a parameter that ranges from high to low presentability (presentable or unpresentable), likewise for the other adjectives.

Many would argue that Britney Spears has a very good appearance, but a very poor presentability.

‘Charisma’ only seems synonymous with ‘electability’ because of the fucked up way our democracy functions. Actually, they can be distinct concepts.

Ahh, finally I see what you’re rambling about. I was totally not thinking of it that way. But still, Chronos makes the right comment. You can’t equate ‘presentability’ with ‘appearance’ either. They overlap by convention (some people’s convention), but they’re distinct ideas.

(consciously blowing off all other posters)

This is English, kid. It’s not like French, where you have to offer each neologism to Le Académie for their approval. English is the international dominant language BECAUSE it is so flexible. Want to describe your “presentability?” No problem, if your potential employers see that somebody already made it up, or, merely, understand its obvious meaning, though they have never heard of it–they don’t want to seem stupid. Even less of a problem if they assume it’s a real word–they can figure out its meaning from context, and they want even LESS that others find them stupid.

What I mean technically is, English is a trade language. Its meanings and useage have, for centuries, depended on imports and exports and are, therefore, flexible. Look at the various English-Local-based Pigdins. We know what they mean, though it may take a moment, and they know what we mean, though it may take a moment. After a few years those meanings may work their way into the language, but the speakers of the original languages can still parse it out.