RE: Dumb question: is it "email", "Email", "e-mail", or "E-mail"

Subject: RE: Dumb question: is it "email", "Email", "e-mail", or "E-mail"
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Laura Lemay'" <lemay -at- lauralemay -dot- com>, "'Leonard C. Porrello'" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2009 15:33:37 -0800

> From: Laura Lemay

> On Jan 7, 2009, at 11:57 AM, Leonard C. Porrello wrote:
> > On Google there were ...
> >
> > 2,890,000,000 hits for email
> >
> > 7,830,000,000 hits for e-mail
>
> You can't use a google fight in this instance because Google removes
> the dash (google doesn't do punctuation, something that is insanely
> infuriating if you're trying to search for code). You're actually
> getting a google search for either e or mail. (and I'm not so sure
> about the e).

And if you put "e-mail" in quotes you get 2,170,000,000 hits. I got
4,950,000,000 for "e-mail" without quotes. "mail" produced 3,200,000,000
hits and "e" produced 7,280,000,000 hits for my searches. Since Google uses
previous searches from a browser to fine-tune its results, everyone can
easily have a different number of results for the same searches. Which
reminds of when my uncle told me with glee, "my web site comes up at the top
of every search for my business product." Silly, that's because you Google
your own business and your own name. Google "remembers."

Really, I think that when the term for electronic mail was first used, the
hyphen was necessary to signify that the "e" was an abbreviation for
"electronic" and so that "email" would not be misunderstood as a misspelled
word. Now that we know what email is, we can leave off the hyphen without
being misunderstood. There is not a consistent usage here, but a style
guide should dictate the usage and the usage chosen should be consistent.
Capitalizing the "e" in "email" seems unnecessary, since it is not a proper
noun. "eMail" seems more like a colloquialism for early developers who
regularly used non-standard capitalization in their acronyms and
technological terms and my spell checker doesn't like it.

Lauren


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Re: Dumb question: is it "email", "Email", "e-mail", or "E-mail": From: Laura Lemay

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