I really hate to ask this ....

Subject: I really hate to ask this ....
From: Dick Gaskill <dickg -at- AG3D -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 14:30:33 -0700

...because I know it'll start an opinion war, but here goes anyway.

Which is the *correct* way to spell it?
online
on-line
on line

Is there *a* correct way? Or are they all correct.? I currently use
"on-line" and all my manuals spell it the same way.

Now you'ld think all I'd have to do is just look it up. Yup, sounds
simple enough, but when I did, I found that the reference books don't
agree with each other.

* In her book, "Standards for Online Communication", Dr. Joanne
Hackos spells it as one word, "online". But in the same book she also
uses "on-screen". Seems contradictory to me (sorry Joanne). She also
uses "online" in her book "Managing Your Documentation Projects"

* The RoboHelp and FrameMaker manuals use "online"

* But in the book "A Style Guide for the Computer Industry" (Sun
Technical Publications), the authors spell it "on-line".

* Websters New World Dictionary says it's two words, "on line",
but also lists several hyphenated words such as "on-going".

* And my old standby Writing Style Guide (from HP) doesn't mention
it at all.

Sigh.

DickG




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