"Functionality" is often attacked as a needless long variant of "function". But they are differentiated in meaning. "The function of a screwdriver is to turn screws. Its functionality includes prying open paint cans, stirring paint, scraping paint, and acting as a chisel. The function is what it is designed to do. The functionality is what you can do with it." -- Evan Kirshenbaum. A thing's functionality includes its functions if and only if it does what it was designed to do. This specialized meaning of "functionality" is not yet in most dictionaries. The earliest citation we have was found by Fred Shapiro in the June 1977 issue of Fortune: "The way to grow, an I.B.M. maxim says, is to 'increase the functionality of the system,' or, in plain English, to give the customer the capacity to do more than he wants to do in the knowledge that he inevitably will." Mark Odegard suggests a similar distinction between "mode" and "modality": "A 'mode' is a way of doing something. A 'modality' is doing something according to a protocol." Outside technical contexts, the word "functionality" may well strike some readers as jargonistic. Thought may be needed to find a substitute that works in the context. "Utility" is sometimes suggested, but consider: "The utility of mainframe computers has declined sharply over the past decade; their functionality has remained the same." Here, "their capabilities have remained the same" might be the best solution.
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