e-mail or email

electronic mail

E-mail (and email) is "mail" that's "electronically" transmitted to you via computer.

As opposed to snail mail, e-mail sends your messages instantaneously, anywhere in the world. It's considered a killer app because of its capability to send messages at any time, to anyone, for less money than mailing a letter or calling someone on the telephone.

Linked by high-speed data connections that create a global network, e-mail lets you compose messages and transmit them in seconds to one or more recipients across the office, the street, or the country. All you need is an e-mail account, an online connection, a computer, and an e-mail or Webmail program.

Overall, thanks to e-mail and texting, communication has taken on a new form. Not only has the style of writing changed because of the amount of typing involved (many users type in all lowercase), but the attitude or tone used online is more casual, (thanks to chat acronyms and smileys). Because messages are quick and instant, and because it's easy to send many messages at once, fram lists have evolved within offices, families, and groups of friends, as well as on social media. In terms of proper netiquette, it is OK to simply ask to be removed from a particular distribution list, or to just unfollow someone or certain content.

FYI: Netlingo advocates spelling "e-mail" with a hyphen since it is a term that describes "electronic" mail. There are many other Internet terms that have an "e" in front of them, such as e-commerce, e-journal, and e-cards, and these, too, are spelled with a hyphen since they represent the electronic form of something. Conversely, "etailing," "ecruiting," and "elancer" are neologisms, and while these things do use electronic media to accomplish their goals, the "e" does not specifically stand for "electronic." More often than not, putting an "e" in front of a word is a marketing ploy, as in e-anything.

In one sense, it's a noun, as in, "an e-mail," which can be used like "a letter" (or a package or a message). When one compares e-mail to regular mail and the postal system, it can be viewed as the actual letters or messages you are "sending and receiving." For example, "I checked my P.O. Box, and there were four letters. I checked my in-box, and there were eighty-four e-mails." In another sense, the "e" in e-mail acts as an adjective. It describes "electronic" mail the way "snail" mail describes slow, printed mail, or "junk" mail describes some forms of direct marketing. In this instance, one would say, "I used e-mail to send four messages." The "e" in e-mail describes a system (electronic), just as "snail" in snail mail describes a system that is slow.

The word "e-mail" is frequently used in the online world as a verb. Some grammarians may not agree with this usage, but NetLingo is here to report how Internet terms are actually being used. You may hear, "You didn't get the memo? Strange, I e-mailed it to you yesterday." Like many online jargon terms, this is an example of how actual usage changes over time, or morphs.

Historical perspective: During the year 2005, 130 billion e-mail messages were sent each day. Worldwide email traffic increased to 247 billion e-mail messages per day in 2009. By 2013, worldwide email traffic was at 507 billion e-mail messages per day. And get this, accordiing to Radicati in 2018, there were 124.5 billion business emails and 111.1 billion consumer emails sent and received each day.

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NetLingo Classification: Net Technology

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