July 17, 2008

Oui, nous n'avons pas d'émail

Sometimes, it seems that only the lexicographers and grammarians are fighting this good fight. Luckily, there are quite a few of us.

Email, like the coneheads, comes from France, where it's pronouned "ay-MAYL." It translates as "enamel."

E-mail is short for "electronic mail," and, as Bill Walsh so eloquently argues in Lapsing into a Comma and also at The Slot, it needs its hyphen. It's pronounced "EE-mail."

Perhaps only pedants like me care whether there's a hyphen. Maybe so. But as long as my dictionary of choice shows a hyphen, I'm using a hyphen. For that matter, I'll probably keep using the hyphen even if the descriptivists rewrite all the dictionaries.

Vive le trait d'union

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