Email, emails, Internet or internet.

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Email, emails, Internet or internet.

Postby Erin » Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:55 pm

Hello world,

Could someone please clarify for me two simple gramatical questions for I know not the answer. Question one is should the word Internet have a capital 'i'? It is a proper noun surely and therefore be capitalised. I have heard there is something that when the word becomes common language it loses its initial capital.

Question two is email. The Beagle article is a clear case of misuse for the adding of a 's' to the end of email. AFAIK, email should never have an 's' as email is a system and messages are the produce. Therefore the term should be email messages. Clarity here would be wonderful too but sentences such as "I'll check my emails" should never be accepted. It should of course be "I'll check my email".

Looking forward to some education for me. Thanks,

Erin
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RE: Email, emails, Internet or internet.

Postby nelz » Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:14 pm

I've always viewed The Internet as a proper noun, and distinct from an internet, so I always capitalise it. Aspell has just highlighted "internet" as incorrectly spelled, while passing Internet.

Email is a contraction of electronic mail, so should really be written e-mail. As with snail mail, the same noun applies to both the system uses to convey it and the individual messages. However, in that usage, the plural of mail is still mail. So I agree with you on that point, that there should never be an s.

However, the language is evolving, and whatever the majority use usually becomes the accepted norm. So I wouldn't lose any sleep over this. I gave up the fight against calling junk e-mail spam long time ago, even though the original usage of spam only applied to mass-posted (but not cross-posted) junk Usenet messages.
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Postby M0PHP » Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:48 pm

According to wikipedia, it is 'Internet and 'e-mail' 8)
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Postby guy » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:09 pm

Standard English grammar is to capitalise proper names, but not nouns. the word "the" may be used to preface a noun, but not a proper name (except to distinguish which "John Smith" one is talking about - "The particular John Smith who ate Freddie Starr.") Note that a name may include "The" (capital T) as in "The Dog and Duck."
As such, the grammatically correct usage would be "the internet". The accepted usage of "the Internet" is irregular, so one may refer to "the internet" whenever one wishes to set a trap for a pedant.

email or emails? Generally, the collective "mail" should be used.
However, unlike snail mail the word is sometimes used to refer to an individual message: one might say "I opened an email the other day," but never ""I opened a (snail) mail the other day." In this context, one should use "emails" to refer to several messages, as: "I opened three emails the other day."
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Postby nelz » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:21 pm

The Internet is a proper name. it is not a generic referring to any collection of computers, such as a network, but a specific entity. As such, it is a proper name and should be capitalised. The is not an article in this case, but part of the name. It is "The Internet" as opposed to "an internet".
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Postby Erin » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:57 pm

I agee with nelz with the correct usage being Internet and e-mail. My question is therefore, how do we feed it back to LXF? I am not deliberatly picking on the Beagle (LXF 70) article but it is a wonderful example of PPE (p!ss poor English) with respect to the subject.

Surely, rather than "I opened three emails the other day." the sentence should read "When reading my e-mail I opened three messages the other day."?

Cheers Erin.
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Postby nelz » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:58 pm

"I opened three e-mail messages", which will inevitably become contracted to "I opened three emails", in the same way that "text messages" has become "texts". Even the OED has listed text as a verb for at least three years, it's in my 2002 edition.

The OED also uses Internet and lists both email and e-mail. Of course, the OED lists what is in use, not what is considered correct.
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Postby towy71 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:15 am

what is this? Pedants corner ;-)
it is not considered correct to poke your tongue out :-P
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Postby alloydog » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:58 am

P-lease, it is "What is this?"
"Pedants corner?", and
"It is not considered correct to poke your tongue out."
:roll:
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Postby nelz » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:12 am

towy71 wrote:English is constantly evolving and long may it do so


Thou is entitled to thine own opinion, even if it sucketh.

The olde wayes are the beste wayes :)
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Postby M-Saunders » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:40 am

"This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!"

-- Winston Churchill

M
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Postby nelz » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:43 am

Sounds more like Bush the Lesser :0

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A preposition is something you should not end a sentence with.
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Postby Nigel » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:43 am

nelz wrote:The olde wayes are the beste wayes :)


Where do you want to go today ?
:wink:
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Postby nelz » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:26 am

Far, far awaye :)
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Postby Erin » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:04 am

Like Wigan?
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