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Thanks a million to the 14 people who replied to my question about the use
of email and message.
The concensus is that a message can take many forms. As Melissa
Kucbel-Saumier said, "A message ... represents what is exchanged betwen a
sender and a reciever". Email is an adjective, and as Mark Osborne said,
"...a collective singular noun, just like traditional mail". So I'll use
'email message' when I need to be very clear what type of message I'm
talking about, and just 'message' when the context ensures that it cannot be
confused with any other type of message.
Email isn't a verb, but it seems to slip into that usage so easily I wonder
how long it will be before that changes.