In response to this comment to my previous post on web writing standards (capitalizing "Internet," "web site" vs. "website," etc.), here is the consensus (such as it is) on e-words.
According to Google Fight, "e-mail" wins over "email" by roughly a 5-3 margin. Spellweb also uses Google searches as the authority, favoring "e-mail" over "email" by a 3-2 margin. Meryl's Notes Blog comes down firmly in the middle ("It's a toss up!"), though she insists that "web site" is two words.
However, Professor Donald Knuth of Stanford argues for "email" - "Newly coined words of English are often spelled with a hyphen, but the hyphen disappears when the words become widely used." http://openmap.bbn.com/~tomlinso/ray/hyphen.html agrees, citing Google searches as the authority. Slashdot had an incredibly active forum discussion on the topic that seemed to settle on "email," referencing a Wired article -- back in 2000. A current Google search makes "email" the winner by nearly a 2-t0-1 margin.
So what about "e-commerce" vs. "ecommerce"? Freelancers Network argues for the latter (on the basis that "email" is more accepted than "e-mail"). But in this case, the hyphenated form wins in a Google search by about a 5-2 margin. Google Fight pegs this margin as closer to 4-1, and SpellWeb has "e-commerce" winning by nearly 3-1. The UCI Style Guide favors the e-hyphen form for all e-words. The Oxford Dictionary confusingly favors "email" but "e-commerce." Is all of that clear?
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Finally, a manual Google search has "e-business" beating "ebusiness" by a 5-1 margin. Google Fight puts this ratio at more than 10-1, while SpellWeb has the hyphenated form winning by about 8-1.
There you have it. If you sell or market online, you definitely engaged in e-commerce or e-business. But you might communicate to your customers using either email or e-mail. Enough.
Terms: email, e-mail, ecommerce, e-commerce, e-business, ebusiness, GoogleFight, SpellWeb, web writing standards, Donald Knuth
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