Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 23:40:10 EDT


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?