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ADS-L Digest - 20 Jun 1998 to 21 Jun 1998 98-06-22 00:00:33
There are 4 messages totalling 186 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. e-mail/paper mail (2)
2. plural's - a new development?
3. Uncompromise & other compromises


Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 13:41:18 -0500
From: "Donald M. Lance"
Subject: Re: e-mail/paper mail

>On Wed, 17 Jun 1998 12:08:30 -0400 Bob Haas
... ...

Later that day, Peter McGraw responded:
>I'd say "e-mail" is either singular or collective, but not plural. It
>seems perfectly natural to say, "He sent me three e-mails yesterday."
>BTW, there was a discussion awhile (a couple of years?) ago on this
>list prompted, as I remember, by a New York Times solicitation of
>opinion as to the grammar of the singular of the term. The question,
>as I recall, boiled down to, "Does one say 'AN e-mail'?" I was one who
>piped up and said that seemed unnatural to me and that I would tend
>to say "an e-mail MESSAGE." I'm sure others said the same, though I
>don't remember how many did or how many found "an e-mail" acceptable.

I participated in that discussion, with the same kind of comment as
Peter's. Now I use 'e-mail' as a count noun to refer to e-mail messages or
as a noncount ("mass") noun to refer to the phenomenon.