Re: web site or website; e-mail or email

Subject: Re: web site or website; e-mail or email
From: Christi <christi -at- sageinst -dot- COM>
To: "Charter, Tara M." <Charter -dot- Tara -at- mayo -dot- edu>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 09:12:24 -0700

on 5/19/00 6:13 AM, Charter, Tara M. wrote:

> Web site
> e-mail
> (according to the Microsoft Manual of Style and the Microsoft Dictionary)

Oh no. I fear I have to throw myself off a bridge. I can't believe that
Microsoft and I have come to agree without even trying!

First, Web site.

As Dick M. put it: " World Wide Web is a proper noun. So we write about our
Web-enabled application, Web-powered technology, etc., using Web as
shorthand for World Wide Web."

Last, e-mail.

I am a recent convert to the hyphenated style. I used to be part of the
"email" camp. Here are some excerpts of the arguments that convinced me.

From Bill Walsh's at "The Curmudgeon's Style Book" at The Slot
<>: No initial-based term in the history of the
English language has ever evolved to form a solid word -- a few are split,
and the rest are hyphenated. Look at A-frame, B-movie, C-rations, D-Day, E-
(uh, skip that one), F layer, G-string, H-bomb, I-beam, J-school, K car,
L-shaped, N-word, O-ring, Q rating, S-connector, T-bill, U-joint, X-ray,
Y-chromosome, Z particle and dozens of other such compounds.

email is the French word for enamel (with some accent that I don't know off
the top of my head).

But this, for me, was the strongest reasoning:

If "email" is acceptable, then "ecommerce" and "etrade" and others are sure
to follow, which is certain to cause confusion every time a word appears
that starts with the letter "e." The reader might pause and wonder if it's
some new "e" coinage instead of the ordinary word. Do we want readers to
see "equip" and wonder, even for an instant, if it refers to an on-line
joke? There are many words where this could happen (elapse, emerge,
emotion, epaulette, epic, election, elude, etc.). Your imagination can
provide possible "e" meanings for these words.
-Drew Bryan

Christi Carew
Technical Writer

Sage Instruments
Freedom, CA, USA

- Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them
all yourself.

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