Re: hyphenating email/e-mail/E-mail

Subject: Re: hyphenating email/e-mail/E-mail
From: Keith Calvert Ivey <kcivey -at- CPCUG -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 23:04:15 -0500

Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL> wrote, responding
to Al Rubottom <aer -at- PCSI -dot- CIRRUS -dot- COM>:

> You are saying that you think the Times is basing the form of
> a decades old term on the forms of such very new terms as
> e-pub, e-text, and e-zine? Where's the time machine?

I think Al's point was that if you write "email" without a
hyphen, you then should write "epub", "etext", "ezine",
"enote", "ecafe", "eletter", "efriend", and so on, for
consistency. Do you really expect readers to figure those
out at a glance?

I can understand those misguided folks who think that
"e-mail" should be capitalized, since there are similar words
("J-school", "U-boat", "A-bomb") that are capitalized even
though they aren't proper nouns. But the people who say
keeping the hyphen is somehow "fussy" mystify me. Do they
write "vchip", "fstop", "Aframe", "xray", "Tshirt", "Ibeam",
"Oring", "Jschool", "Uboat", "Abomb", "nbutane", "yaxis",
"Ltryptophan", "Uturn", "cmitosis", "Qtip"? Why aren't the
hyphens in these words fussy? Does anyone have another example
of a word beginning with a single letter and a hyphen that has
lost the hyphen? The construction seems pretty un-English
(unEnglish?) to me.

I see "e-mail" everywhere, print and electronic. I have almost
never seen "email" in print, and I see no evidence that it is
overwhelming "e-mail" in electronic communication. Until that
situation changes, I'm sticking with "e-mail".

Keith C, Ivey <kcivey -at- cpcug -dot- org>
Washington, DC
Untangling the Web <>

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