Email or Emaille

Subject: Email or Emaille
From: Erich Schildhauer <Erich -dot- Schildhauer -at- POET -dot- DE>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 12:23:42 +0200

Jim Chevallier wrote:

> Actually, it's French ( as in - plural - 'les emaux de Limoges' = 'enamels of
> Limoges'). I'm sure the Germans thought it was chic, though, being French.
> But when's the last time you saw a German enamel, hm? (Except maybe on a
> Mercedes)

On the use of the term "Email" (or "Emaille") in German and its origin
in French: I think it is fair to point out that it is common practice in
many languages, including German, to borrow words from other languages.
German also uses Hardware, Software, Computer, and E-Mail (just to
mention a few). In some cases there may indeed be some pretension to
sounding chic. On the other hand, it may just be the easiest way to
refer to a new thing using the names that comes with it.

On the existence of German enamel: I am certainly no expert, but I
believe this manufactuing technique is used just as widely in Germany as
it is in most places.

On the preferred spelling for electronic mail: My vote goes for e-mail.
I am not opposed to linguistic development, I just find this spelling
easier to read. However, I don't think the potential for confusing email
(spelled without a hyphen) with the German word "Email" is really a
factor, simply because the contexts for these two words are so
completely different.

Erich Schildhauer

Erich Schildhauer Phone: +49 40 60990-0
POET Software GmbH Fax: +49 40 60990-115
Fossredder 12 Mail: Erich -dot- Schildhauer -at- poet -dot- de
D-22359 Hamburg Info:

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Tech Writing Plus
Next by Author: Re: Winword -- number of pages in a section
Previous by Thread: Open Acrobat file from command line
Next by Thread: Re: Famous Writers and Other People who Once Were Technical Writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads