Monday, September 28, 2009

Vocabulary Lesson: Internet Vocabulary

One of my biggest pet peeves is a non-hyphenated "email." This is strange, given my general inability to hyphenate anything (only hyphenate words broken in the layout, please!), and my promise to ban hyphens upon my election as Grand Queen Supreme of the English Language. (Vote for me!)

There are other Internet related quirks I have (capitalize Internet!), because when a serious publication misuses a word, it indicates unfamiliarity with technology and a misunderstanding of its importance. Yes, on the one hand, it "isn’t that important," but on the other, it’s only unimportant if looking like a moron doesn’t bother you. Personally, I'm bothered that you look like a moron.

So, with your reputation at stake, I present a list of commonly misspelled, misused, and mis-hyphenated words. I have deferred to both the 2009 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law and Webster’s Dictionary to ensure accuracy. So take note, old people, and look like smart people:

E-mail, e-mail (Also: e-book, e-commerce, e-letter)

Internet (always a proper noun)

Twitter (the Web site), tweet (the act of sending a message through Twitter)

Web site (two words, never website—I often make this mistake myself out of habit—and always a capital "W")

World Wide Web, Web, Web page (again, capital "W"; also: webcam, webcast, webmaster)

Check the glossary for more words you oughtta know.

2 comments:

Elizardbeth said...

Oh, hey now. Just because it's AP style doesn't make it correct. Sure, I use Web site at work at the paper. But out in the Real World, I say website just like everybody else.

Katherine said...

Well, in this case it is correct, since Web is considered a proper noun. :) Personally, it's a VERY hard habit to break (I have to go back and fix myself all the time, and I'm sure errors abound on this blog), and I'll certainly never correct how you say it!