Just now I was looking at a book description on the net when I saw the book being described as “unputdownable”. I went, WOW, since when was that a word?
So I had to turn to the “authorities”. Webster claims it is an adjective synonymous to riveting, used for describing books and the first instance of use was 1947. WOW. So I turned to OED Online and there was no entry for unputdownable, just a passing mention that the productive prefix un- has given rise to many new formulations, and unputdownable is an example. AH.
I hate that word. Simply because I would then be tempted to use putdownable which doesn’t exist. Why not, since un- is productive, I should have the right to describe a book as putdownable, right? And since -able is a suffix that simply changes a verb into an adjective, we can assume the root verb is putdown. So that gives us the possibility below:
(a) John is putdowning the book already, stop kicking a fucking fuss!
(b) She finally putdowned that crappy book otherwise known as Twilight.
And since we have words like probable and probably, let’s assume we can turn putdownable into an adverb putdownably. And hence the example below:
(c) That book was putdownably bad I want to make my enemy read it.
And really, there’s nothing stopping me from forming unputdown, because in the first place, putdownable is not considered a well-formed word. So unputdown will be a un- prefix plus a verb, which can mean the reverse of the action of putdown, i.e. pick up. Therefore the example:
(d) Please unputdown the book and start reading or I’ll blow your head off.
Ah, the beauty of language!
(And I had so much fun trying to convince you that this works. I obviously disregarded a gigantic fallacy. But in this case, it’s not important to consider fallacies. I’m just trying to be a true-blue quack non-fiction writer.)