[Rd] Spelling (PR#6570)

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Wed Feb 11 02:05:00 MET 2004

On Tue, 2004-02-10 at 18:13, p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk wrote:
> I came across this in connection with an unrelated issue
> > beta[2]
> Error in beta[2] : object is not subsettable
> > beta[2] <- 5
> Error in "[<-"(`*tmp*`, 2, value = 5) : object is not subsetable
> One of the messages must be wrong, but I need a native English speaker
> to tell me which one.


To be clear, I presume that you are referring to either the single or
double 't' in the words 'subsettable' and 'subsetable'.

Note also that in R-lang.pdf, the following also exists:

10.4.3 Index constructions
The object can formally be any valid expression, but it is understood to
denote or evaluate to a subsetable object. 

A Google search suggests that both spellings are in use, though a quick
review would suggest that the double 't' is more common. 

For example:

at http://www4.ncsu.edu/~sgarg/l2h/node7.html, the following:

"Modularization and Subsetable systems"

Then of course, Omegahat has this:


Curiously, I have not been able to find either spelling in any
"mainstream" english language dictionary (ie. Oxford, Cambridge,

I could not find 'subsetting' in any dictionary either, though that word
with a double 't' also appears frequently in many technical references,
including ?"[":

"You can write methods to handle subsetting of specific classes of

If you want my vote (FWIW), I would go with the double 't'. Keep in mind
that while I now live in Minnesota, I was born in Brooklyn, New York.
That may bias your opinion as to whether or not I am a native English
speaker...  ;-)

I will of course defer to any English majors who may be reading this.  


Marc Schwartz

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