Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Poll position

Is it e-mail or email?

You can vote at this poll by IntelliReach Corp.
“I dare say the hyphen in e-mail will wither away, but I vote for it. You wouldn’t write “Abomb,” for “A-bomb,” or “opositive” for “O-positive,” or “Xray” (which looks like the name of a science fiction villain), or “fstop.” And “ecommerce” is not good. It looks like it should be pronounced “ecko-merce.” And “echecking,” “efiling,” “evoting”? No. No. No. New words should be formed in such a way that they reflect as closely as possible how they are pronounced.”—Roy Blount Jr., Humorist/writer/novelist
Well said, Roy. I'm with you.

And before you vote, read Bill Walsh's take.

(Link via the ACES board)


At 1:02 AM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

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At 1:04 AM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

Roy Blount pretty much says the same thing, but here is a more complete version of my argument.

At 2:45 AM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

I think “e-” has evolved into a full-fledged prefix and is no longer just a clipped form of “electronic.” When people write the term “e-mail” or “email,” they’re not thinking “electronic mail.” I agree that it still looks better with the hyphen, but I won't mind if the hyphen fades away entirely like the one that used to exist in “to-day.” There is at least one precedent for a hyphenless, one-letter prefix: “a-” as in “asymptomatic,” "asexual" and “asymmetrical.”

At 12:21 PM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

But that "a" isn't an initial.

At 2:00 PM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

True. The precedent is not 100% analogous to the email evolution, but it's relevant to some of the points of objection.

At 2:41 PM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Thanks for the link, Bill. I changed the main post to reflect that.

(Obviously, I was too lazy when searching for the right link last night. When I came across that one, I assumed I had read a longer version in one of your books, not on the Web.)

Tsk tsk.

At 2:41 AM, March 11, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Also interesting: The Xrays and fstops don't bother me nearly as much as the abombs and opositives. (Although they all look equally atrocious.)


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