Log on (in), sign on (in) -- technical distinction?

Subject: Log on (in), sign on (in) -- technical distinction?
From: Odile Sullivan-Tarazi <odile -at- mindspring -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 08:00:17 -0700


A terminology question.

Our group is looking at these sets of terms --

log on / log off

log in / log out

vs.

sign on / sign off

sign in / sign out


And I'm wondering what other groups are doing with them.

The MS Manual of Style (published in 2004) makes this distinction
between log on / log off and sign in (or sign on) / sign out: if
creating and ending a user session on a computer or network, use log
on / log off; if creating a user session on the Internet, use sign in
(or on) / sign out.

From your point of view, is this a valid distinction? Does it matter
whether a user is working in an application that resides on her local
machine, a company server, or on the Internet?

What distinction, if any, do you make between these two sets of
terms, or do you see in your work being made between these two terms?
Then when it comes to log on or log in, which do you think is more
correct, more standard? Sign on, sign in?

I don't believe there is a firm standard being followed across the
industry (certainly not across industries), but I'm trying to get a
handle on trends.

Thanks!

Odile
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