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May 08, 2010

Website or Web Site? Which is correct?

Learning the vocabulary of a language is difficult enough, but when the language itself shifts and changes, it can make you want to...

...well, I'm not too sure what, but the English language certainly confuses my students - even the native speakers of English.

Here's just a few examples; is it "email" or "e-mail"? "Web site" (two words) or website (one word)?

If you are trying to keep track of how the English language should be (or even used to be) used, or the fine print - or sometimes massive distinction - between American and British usage, take a look at OnlineStylebooks at - http://www.onlinestylebooks.com/.

This is a website (yes, one word) that accesses a combination of style-focused sites that show current, historic and localized usages of familiar terms.

This could mark the end of debates about words and terms that are new or not yet established or in dictionaries.

You should have fun with this website. I confirmed that iPod (or iPhone) is the correct usage. It is rare (and memorable) for a trade-marked name to have the second letter of the name capitalized. Try looking up any other puzzling words or terms.

And, as a bonus, if you happen to looking for a site that bills itself as The Most Comprehensive Dictionary in the Known Universe, you have to take a look at Wordnik - http://www.wordnik.com/. If you look at this site, you'll be in word-nerd heaven. Among other features of this site is their word of the day feature. You can see it at - http://www.wordnik.com/word-of-the-day.

One word that I learned from this site is "polycephaly"; defined as “The condition of having more than one head.” That might be the winning word in your next word game.

We are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Send me your mangled memos, your garbled utterances, your misheard song lyrics, scrambled slang and misunderstood Americanisms. Accidental or deliberate, these stray words, stretched meanings and reconfigured phrases are continually enriching our language.

Many linguists may not agree, but I am convinced that this constant shifting and churning of our language primarily illuminates facets or aspects of our language most of us would never notice.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at May 8, 2010 10:00 PM

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