Buying into ‘Website’ and Holding Firm on ‘E-Mail’
I put together my first cyber-presence back in 1993 in the days before Marc Andreessen had developed the graphical user interface for transmissions on the Internet.
As I, a newspaper journalist, then grew up with emerging cyber alternatives to print, I was taught that World Wide Web (the "www" in so many URLs) and Internet were proper nouns that needed capitalization and the respect that — ahem — comes with being proper nouns. Thus one would build a Web site, retaining the capitalization of Web out of all due respect.
Also, one would send an e-mail, the accepted contraction for electronic mail, replete with the separating/connecting hyphen.
Now, the Associated Press and its 2012 Stylebook have turned tradition on its ear and scuttled the respect historically due all things Web.
The Associated Press Stylebook now endorses website as the proper form for Web site. And it spells email without the hyphen!
Now, the AP manual has its roots in the days of hot metal (linotype) when each letter or space cost a penny or so to forge in metal, so the premium was on making everything shorter and more compact (thus abbreviations like sen. for senator, etc.), but to throw out the capital W in Web — sacrilege!
However, I've made my peace with the AP and will now use website, but I will never remove the hyphen from e-mail no matter how much of a pain in the ass it is to have to hit the hyphen button on a QWERTY keyboard!
Call me e-stubborn.
Or should I write it e-Stubborn out of respect for a dying tradition?