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I would like to weigh in in favor of e-mail for the same reason I used
to prefer data base to database. I basically write for the
technically uninitiated and unwashed, and certainly not for the
avant-garde of the academy, so I think the subtext of what I am
saying when I call it e-mail is something like : "Look, reader dear,
we have a term here that's a bit new and it's in use, depending on
what you do, but it has yet to achieve full blown status with the
writers of popular dictionaries. I am not going too insult you, like
by putting e-mail in quotes ("e-mail") so you know that I know it
hasn't hit the dictionaries yet, but I also don't want to come across
brash and brazen (or arrogant or elitist) like I expect you to know
what I mean by making it a word (email)."
It took me a few years to feel comfortable about using database
rather than data base on my readers, and I expect the day will come
when I will feel fine calling e-mail email. But for now, I have to
have my hyphen. It just makes me feel better.
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com