E-mail vs. email

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A few editorially conservative publications still prefer e-mail to email, but most of the English-speaking world has adopted the unhyphenated form. In a Google News search covering 2011 and the start of 2012, there are approximately six instances of email for every e-mail, a dramatic shift from a couple of years ago. And the unhyphenated form is even more common outside newswriting.


In non-U.S. English publications, email already beats e-mail by a wide margin. For example, email is used as a rule in these and many other publications:

The News of the World has revealed that its computers have retained an archive of potentially damning emails. [Guardian]

The act of civic engagement also appears to have signed her up to receive Conservative attack ads in her email. [Toronto Star]

The email arrived in Major Paul Morgan’s restricted Defence account in March last year. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Exceptions are still easily found, however:

Mr. O’Neill was up to visit clients, and in an e-mail afterwards, he recounted his observations. [Globe and Mail]

Alterian licenses software to help marketers target their audience, using web content management, e-mail and social media monitoring tools. [Financial Times]

American publications in general are more reluctant than others to let go of e-mail. This is in large part due to the influence of the New York Times, which is notoriously stodgy with tech terms. The Washington Post uses the old form as well: 

Security experts said Monday that millions of people were at increased risk of e-mail swindles after a giant security breach at an online marketing firm. [New York Times]

When Betsy Gorman is working on a real estate contract, she sometimes will drop an e-mail to her partner seeking details. [Washington Post]

But the newer form, as seen below, is increasingly common in the U.S.:

In Washington, as in workplaces across the country, email is a vital—if lamented—thread of work and social life. [Wall Street Journal]

An Orange County Republican Party official is defending an email she sent that portrays¬†President Obama’s face superimposed on a chimpanzee. [Los Angeles Times]

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