Re: e-verything

Subject: Re: e-verything
From: "Herman Holtz" <h -dot- holtz -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 07:34:11 -0500

> Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I like things that are easy
> to type. For example, email is easier than e-mail; website or web site is
> easier than Web site or Web-site. I wonder if ease of use will win out
> theoretical correctness?
> M. David Orr

Aside from gaining ease by simplification of spellings and
structures, we can gain efficiency and style by putting sensible limits on
the degree to which we wish to enforce uniformity. We do need some
standardization to make the language function effectively as a means of
communication, but how far do we have to take this? For some, the goal seems
to be, take it to the limit. Allow no individual judgment or preference. For
others, it seems to be whatever I decide I like is the right style.

Obviously, we must alight somewhere between those extremes. Style
standards ought to be for ranges, rather than absolute precision, with the
criterion simply, Is the meaning clear? So in a style manual I wrote, the
style for Web Site would include website and perhaps another variant or two,
with the rule that the author, once choosing an option, will use it
consistently throughout whatever he or she is writing.

Of course, this is a style standard that will be (and is) used commonly
today, wherever the question of style is not at issue, but it is not likely
to ever be endorsed formally and officially by any individuals or groups who
profess some authority for proposing standards. - Herm

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