‘Hyphens Equal Disrespect’ Petition: Shorter OED Drops Hyphen

News last week that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary’s latest edition dropped hyphens from about 1,600 words provides further proof that the time has come for marketers, publishers and dictionaries to drop the hyphen from the word email.

Show your commitment to adopting the 21st century spelling of the word email by signing our ‘Hyphens Equal Disrespect’ petition. So far, more than 160 people, representing companies both large and small, have signed the petition, signaling that they would spell the word sans hyphen in their emails, press releases, whitepapers and other publications. If you’d like to add your name to the list of supporters, just click here, let us know your name and the company you represent, and we’ll add your name (but not your email address) to the petition. As the number of signees grows, the EEC will use this list to convince publishers to change their spelling of the word.

Reacting to the news from the Shorter OED, Rob over at the Serial Comma blog has a great examination of the email vs. e-mail debate. He also quotes Angus Stevenson, editor of the Shorter OED, as commenting to the BBC that e-mail—with the hyphen—is ‘starting to look like something your grandmother might write.’

We couldn’t agree more. Spelling email with a hyphen is antiquated and adds extra length to the word without adding clarity. As we pointed out in our May 8 ‘Hyphens Equal Disrespect’ Petition Update, the majority of references to email on the web are spelled without a hyphen, proving that people aren’t confused by the word sans hyphen.

Help us honor email’s evolution into a ubiquitous and rich form of communication and sever its connection to its less evolved text-only ancestors by dropping the hyphen. Sign the petition today!

—Chad White