Re: Email versus e-mail

Subject: Re: Email versus e-mail
From: Sandy Nicholson <sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 12:07:49 +0100

Sankara Rajanala wrote:

There was a day when to-morrow was broken in two halves...

And `to-day' and `to-night' as well - and it wasn't that long ago.

Talking of confusing compounds, when I came across "miniseries", being a non-native learner, I looked up 'minisery' (to no avail).

Even as a native speaker, I was thrown by that one, with my eye at first seeing at as a strange hybrid of `ministries' and `miseries'. I then pronounced it with the stress on the first syllable and with the next two syllables having an unstressed, indistinct vowel sound (somewhat like `missionaries'). After a few seconds, I did get it - without having to resort to a dictionary - but it would have been clearer to me with a hyphen. (Perhaps the word's not in such common use on this side of the Atlantic though.)

Having said that, I'm one of those uncouth people who likes to spell `email' without a hyphen.* I do sympathise with those who then start reading it with an unstressed `e' (as in `emit', `emancipate' or `emasculate'), but I'm sure they will get used to it in the end. :o) There are a couple of words that always trip me up in a similar way - of course, I can't bring them to mind at the moment.

* I can at least count on Oxford University Press to support me in this, though. In the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, they list `email' as their preferred spelling (but note that it can also be spelt `e-mail').

Best wishes,

Ambertext, 2/Gf Bruntsfield Crescent, Edinburgh EH10 4EZ, Scotland
+44 (0) 131 447 9257 sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk
Sole proprietor: Alexander J Nicholson

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RE: FW: Email versus e-mail: From: Sankara R

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