Creditability or Credibility?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by popup, May 3, 2013.

  1. popup Senior Member

    If a survey is doubtful (for example, it has some distorted figures, insufficient samples or it is made by a party who has vested interest in the survey result), which way as below do we usually say about the survey?

    1. The creditability of the survey is suspect.
    2. The credibility of the survey is suspect.

    Thank you!
  2. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    What do you think? Have you looked both words up in the dictionary?
  3. popup Senior Member

    Hi Lucas,

    Yes, I have looked them in the dictionary before I ask the question. While I find "credibility" in LONGMAN, it says the word means the quality of deserving to be believed and trusted. Other dictionary says "If someone or something has credibility, people believe in them and trust them." In the meanwhile, not many dictionaries have the meaning for "creditability". Some dictionaries don't consider "creditability" a correct word... That's why I have the concern...

    If I choose one, I prefer "creditability" because it seems to come from "credit", having a similar meaning as convincing power of something. But "credibility" sounds like the reputation of something. Am I correct?
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    "Credibility" derives from "credible."
    "Creditability" derives from "creditable."
    (All of these words derive from the same root, the Latin credere meaning "to believe." "Credit" derives from the same root. An English speaker would notice all of the similar morphemes in the words "credible," "credit," "creditable," etc.)

    But what words are used? "Credible" means believable, and thus "creditability" means "believability."

    If you look up "creditable" in the dictionary, you may find:
    "Creditable" doesn't mean "credible" any more. Therefore "creditability" doesn't mean "believability."

    When a dictionary tells you something isn't a word, or a meaning of a word has become obsolete, believe it!
  5. popup Senior Member

    Hi Lucas,

    If my understanding is correct, you mean we should say "The credibility of the survey is suspect." when we think a survey doesn't deserve being believed. And the word creditability is already obsolete and will not be used any more.

    Thank you so much for your detailed explanations! I'm so happy to find this forum!

Share This Page