The E in E-mail

With the advent of the Internet, many new words and phrases have popped up in our common vocabulary, for example, Web site, on-line, and log on. Along with those new additions has arisen the question of correct spelling. Is it Web site or website, online or on-line, etc?

One of the most commonly used words is e-mail——–or is it email? For this particular word, the problem is easy to solve. E-mail is really just a shorthand way of saying electronic mail, so the correct spelling is with the hyphen, e-mail.

That’s something upon which I’m sure we can all agree—-unless, of course, you think that electronicmail is one word!


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2 Responses to The E in E-mail

  1. Laura says:

    I had to check the date of this blog posting because I thought perhaps it was written in the 20th century. As you well know, the language changes all the time and a common change is to combine two words into one or to eliminate the hyphen in previously hyphenated words. And “email” falls into the latter category. Even says “We recommend email, as this is now by far the most common form.” Another common example is “online” — which I learned to spell as a single word 30 years ago when I was a fledgling tech writer. Where have y’all been in the last several decades? — Laura

    • languageandgrammar says:

      I’m not sure why you would need to check the date; words such as e-commerce, e-cards, and e-mail are all currently (that is, 21st century) hyphenated. FYI, Oxford isn’t the end-all-be-all; they’re just a group of people, not THE panel of language Gods sent down from Heaven to bestow upon us the final word in grammar rules. There are many other reputable sources that base their information on something more than just trends or whimsy, including and Merriam-Webster—or as you might prefer, Merriamwebster or MerriamWebster.

      Hope that helps!

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