Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 23:40:10 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Counting those e-mails
ADS-ers may be interested in participating in, or at least hearing about, an
ongoing collection of submissions to the New York Times on the topic:
Is "an E-mail" acceptable usage?
--as in "I'll send you an E-mail".
The context of the article on the topic in today's Times (p. D4) makes it
clear that (i) they're not interested in capitalization or hyphenization as
parameters of variation, and (ii) they really do want electronic mail users to
contribute their intuitions on whether they would use 'e-mail' as a count
noun, although that terminology appears to be too technical for the Times
staffers. Myself, I feel a bit mixed, since my stomach turns at the
prescriptivist bias on the part of some of the quoted respondents (or of the
tone of the article, whose text begins "Hip lingo, or corruption of the
mother tongue--as if the two options were mutually exhaustive). At the
same time, I really don't use 'e-mail' as a count noun. Do y'all?