Re: I really hate to ask this ....

Subject: Re: I really hate to ask this ....
From: Michael Clark <miark -at- MIJENIX -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 21:36:23 -0500

>Which is the *correct* way to spell [online]?

On line, I think, doen't make sense, leaving on-line and online.
Hyphenated words seem to have a habit of dropping the hyphen, and this
is one of those cases where I've just gone ahead and dropped it. I'll
never succumb to using "email", but "online" is golden here.

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

I think that when audiences become comfortable with a word in general
(they see and hear about it everywhere), then writers sometimes
tighten it up by dropping the hyphen (e.g., on-line to online, e-mail
to email). "On-screen" really doesn't get the press that "online" and
"email" does, so that's probably why most writers keep the hyphen.
Again, that's just a theory, but that must be it, otherwise using the
spelling "email" would be insane. (In-sane?)


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