Tuesday, 19 February 2008
SPOGG is reporting on the associated press' standpoint on the hyphen in 'e-mail'.
David Minthorn, spokesman for the AP stylebook has the following to say on the matter:
Call us stubborn, or sticklers for clarity, but AP sees no compelling reason to replace e-mail with email.
Why do we stand on e-mail? That spelling is the first choice of major dictionaries, including AP's primary spelling reference, Webster's New World College Dictionary Fourth Edition. It is also the preference of many newspapers. And e-mail is consistent with other hyphenated, electronic age terms such as e-book, e-commerce, e-shopping and e-business (which would look odd without hyphens).
You're not the first to propose dropping the hyphen. But the arguments of one fewer keystroke and search engine statistics don't convince us that e-mail would be enhanced by excision.
I disagree. I think 'email' does and should take preference over its hyphenated alter ego. What does the hyphen add? 'Email' looks better, reads better and is less cluttered.
One must regard the hyphen as a blemish to be avoided wherever possible. My feeling is that you may run [words] together or leave them apart, except when Nature revolts.
Quite right, Winston.
We've covered this before of course, when the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary dropped a gazillion hyphens from its new edition last October. I don't think I can be persuaded that a hyphen is needed in this case.
What do you lot think?
Subscribe and Share
- 1000 Tiny Things I Hate
- AA Gill's Times Column
- Apostrophe Abuse
- Stephen Fry's blog
- The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
- Mighty Red Pen
- lowercase L
- Literally a web log
- Elisabeth Writes
- Never in all my life
- The Engine Room
- I Love Typography
- spEak You’re bRanes
- Passive Aggressive Notes