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Friday Fun: E-mail, Email, e-Mail, eMail, email, aarrrghhhh!

I’ll admit I like to keep my eye on the big picture but things like this drive me crazy. My editors are the various periodicals I contirubte to are always changing my words to match the magazine’s overall style and that’s OK. But why are there these HUGE differences. Is it Internet or internet? It it WWW, Web or web?

Anyway, for Friday Fun I enjoyed this contribution from the Britannica Blog.

E-mail, Email, and Other Fine Points of Style
via Britannica Blog by Gregory McNamee

“In the beginning was the word.
And the word, being slippery, as words are, refused to stand still. Just as soon as it was captured and enrolled in a dictionary in one form, it took another.
Thus the word—let us say, for argument’s sake, that it took the shape “roller coaster”—mutated into logically kindred forms: “roller-coaster,” and, in the hands of certain apostates, “rollercoaster,” just as “lawn mower” became “lawn-mower” and then “lawnmower.”
Of these word forms, which is correct?”

“E-mail or email? Any reasonable person would admit that the question is a small matter, akin to the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But small matters form the universe of copyeditors; in details like this, as the Talmudists say, God is to be found.”

Read on, on the original post.

I suppose I like that there is no good and final answer and that my editors fall plainly down on opposite sides of the fence.

Stephen

UPDATE:

E-mail Dies, as Email Rises Triumphant From Its Ashes [Language]
via Gizmodo by Brian Barrett on 18/03/11

“The hyphen just got slightly more obsolete, and you just saved yourself a lot of right ring-finger reaching. In a move that feels so right it surely should’ve been made years ago, the authoritative AP Stylebook has deemed “e-mail” to be incorrect. From now on, we send emails. Thank goodness”

Posted on: March 4, 2011, 8:18 am Category: Uncategorized

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