Re: On-line vs. online

Subject: Re: On-line vs. online
From: Edward Bedinger <qwa -at- CARSON -dot- U -dot- WASHINGTON -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1993 14:30:14 GMT

In article <9310261750 -dot- AA13363 -at- sctsun9 -dot- sctcorp -dot- com> Tracey Showalter
<tshowalt -at- sctcorp -dot- com> writes:
> Reply to: RE>>On-line vs. online

>To throw in my few cents:

>What I remember from one of my linguistics courses (and it's been
>a few years) is that to hyphenate or not to hyphenate is largely a
>matter of historical accident. The professor went through a very
>interesting comparison (which I no longer remember) of sample words,
>highlighting all the inconsistencies among compound nouns that appear
>alternately as one word, two words, or one hyphenated word. In a rule-
>bound world, this is one area with no rules, just style guides....

>Tracey Showalter
>tshowalt -at- sctcorp -dot- com

>You wrote:
>I have noticed that most of you are hyphenating on-line. Our company has been
>hyphenating it too, having changed it from the one-word usage the programmers
>preferred. Now I hear rumblings that the co. is considering changing back to
>online. In my readings I see it both ways.

>I've seen a trend toward taking hyphens out of everything. I tend to prefer it
>that way, since the words seem clearer and simpler without a hyphen (to me). I
>don't know if anyone's done a true usability study, but I seem to remember
>reading somewhere that hyphens slow down reading. That could be a good thing,
>given how most people don't read carefully, but I'd rather not add to the
>aggravation factor. Also, if you listen to the way people SAY online, there's
>no little pause that indicates (to me anyway) that there's a verbal hyphen --
>other words, it's spoken as though it's one word. Any other opinions?

>Bonni Graham
>Easel Corporation, ENFIN Technology Lab
>Bonni_Graham_at_Enfin-SD -at- relay -dot- proteon -dot- com
>President, SDSTC

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