Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 13:06:56 -0700
From: "A. Vine"
Subject: Re: e-mail/paper mail

I think the most interesting thing about the suggestions is their nature. To a
certain extent, they reflect the character of the native language of the person
who coined the term. For me it was the Swedish term which I found particularly
interesting, as a negation or opposition of the term "electronic post".

I also would expect that the preferred pronunciation of the Chinese term would
be scrapped in favor of 'go-mail', both because readable acronyms in English
tend to be pronounced as words, and because the sound 'jee-oh' has its own,
unrelated meaning.


Avi Arditti wrote:
> Recently, as part of a new segment on American language, I held a contest on Voice of America. We asked listeners to suggest a new name for traditional letters written on paper, to distinguish them from e-mail.

> P-words like postal mail or paper mail proved popular [no, I did not say that on the air.] But the entries ranged from *inkmail: [Eritrea] to *scratch-and-scrawl mail: [Ukraine], from :OFL: for :old fashioned letter: [Egypt] to *NEPOST* [/knee-post/] for :not-electronic post: [Sweden].
> Several suggestions came from China, including this e-mail note: *To replace the derogatory name of snail mail or S-mail, my suggestion is 9Good Old Mail,9 or GOMail, pronounced jee-oh-mail, not go-mail, for short. Another short form is GOM, to rhyme with 9mom.9:
> A Nigerian listener suggested *G-mail: for *gas mail: because letters are transported in gas-powered vehicles. Then he added that :L-mail: [leg mail] would be more appropriate right now because of Nigeria9s fuel scarcity.