No one panic, but the world as we know it just changed.
Things will never be the same, and there’s no going back now.
Gone are the simpler times when a good ol’ fashioned hyphen in the word “e-mail” would clearly mean that you were referring to ‘electronic mail’.
Now that hyphen is gone… it has moved on…. it’s in a better place.
At least we can all take comfort in knowing that the hyphen is not alone. It can now rest easy alongside its friend, the ‘space’ in the word “web site”, and its cousin, the ‘hyphen’ in the word “on-line”.
It goes without saying that this profound loss will have an effect on us all. Now all those times you are at the water cooler and you say “Hey John, can you send me that electronic mail about our meeting…”, well, that’s not entirely correct because you could have just said ‘email’. One word, no dash, all by itself. Oh my.
And, think about the children (oh, the children!). They will grow up in a world without possibly knowing that there was once a time when all of humanity needed that hyphen to help us with the understanding that this form of communication was in fact electronic mail, not to be confused with putting a paper envelope in the mailbox.
But, alas, we must all remain strong and think about the future. We must lean on each other’s shoulders and prepare for the days ahead. The days may be longer and more difficult as we all cope with this loss, but we will persevere. We will, as one, remember the good days we had with the hyphen and welcome ‘email’ in its new form into our hearts.
And, now a moment of silence to reflect on all the times we spent with our beloved hyphen…
For those that don’t know, the AP Stylebook announced on Twitter that they are officially changing the spelling from e-mail to email and dropping the hyphen. This will appear in the 2011 print version of the stylebook and will take effect immediately online.
In my opinion, this is a good move for two reasons.
- The hyphen is a relic from our past where internet technology and terminology needed to be explained carefully and fully. The sheer fact that the AP Stylebook broke the news via a Tweet is a sign that the world has moved past this.
- Most people had already dropped the hyphen, which you can also clearly see on Google Trends. I’m not saying that if everyone does something it makes it right, but in this case it’s pretty compelling evidence that the hyphen had generally already been taken away.
The Email Experience Council (which Elite Email has been a member of since the beginning) started a petition in October 2008 to remove the hyphen. This made it clear that those heavily connected to the industry knew it was time for a change. So, today I say congratulations to the EEC because whether or not the petition made the entire difference, it definitely played its part.
Now the question is, what words will change next?