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Is it accessible or accessable – or perhaps assessable?

Handicapped Accessible signIf you mean ‘able to be reached’, then it is accessible.

Accessible is one of those words in English that you might expect to be written with -able, but which unfortunately don’t oblige. Most of them are of Latin origin. Some are quite common (like possible, horrible, terrible, sensible, flexible, incredible, and responsible). Others, however, are less common, though still words you may regularly come across:

(in)feasible (un)able to be done or carried out
(in)admissible (un)able to be admitted, or allowed
(in)comprehensible (un)able to be comprehended or understood
(in)corruptible (un)able to be corrupted
(in)divisible (un)able to be divided
(in)edible (un)able to be eaten, uneatable
(un)intelligible (un)able to be understood
invincible unable to be defeated, undefeatable
negligible able to be neglected or forgotten, insignificant
(im)permissible (un)able to be permitted
(in)omissible (un)able to be omitted or left out
(im)perceptible (un)able to be perceived or observed
(in)tangible (un)able to be touched, (non-)physical
(im)plausible (un)likely

Assessable is an entirely different word, meaning ‘able to be assessed’ (‘evaluated, measured’). The two words also sound quite different. The -cc- in accessible is pronounced -ks-, so the word is pronounced ak-SESS-i-bul; assessable is pronounced as it looks: a-SESS-a-bul.

© 2014 Baxter Publishing, Hilversum, The Netherlands

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