Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 16:59:56 +0000 From: "C.M.Thomas" Subject: Re: an E-mail Bruce writes: > Some time ago we had a thread going about "an E-mail" vs. constructions like > "an E-mail message." At the time I swore I'd never heard "an E-mail" used > by itself, but since then I've heard it countless times. Since I haven't > maintained any data on the usage of the expression, either before or > since, I can't know for sure whether a) I'm noticing it because I'm more > aware of it now, or b) the usage is actually becoming more prevalent > in my speech community (I now hear "an E-mail" many times for every time > I hear "an E-mail message"). > > However, I have noticed one thing about it that seems interesting to me: from > what I've observed informally, those who use "an E-mail message" or a similar > construction tend to be heavily involved with computers either in their > employment or through surfing the net, and those who use "an E-mail" tend > to be either computer outsiders or very casual users only. > > Has anyone else noticed a similar distribution? I can't say that I've noticed the distribution you mention, although I haven't listened out for it. I generally hear people talking about simply an "email", and I certainly use this term myself as opposed to the "email message" option. However, when I am communicating with a friend via email, and know that I will be receiving my next contact from them through email, I just use the term "mail" , as in "Mail me soon". I do this as it's quicker to write, I think. There is no confusion here about whether I mean snail mail (incidentally, how long has the term "snail mail" been around for, as I think it's quite cute!?) or email due to our channel of communication. Or at least no one has ever shown signs of confusion when I've used it! Charlotte Thomas EGP95CMT[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Snail mail: CECTAL Dept. of English Language and Linguistics University of Sheffield Sheffield UK