Friday, July 24, 2015

Tech Jargon Spelling Morphs Like a Caterpillar


The spelling of technology jargon changes as individual words are over time regarded as outdated or inefficient, and this morphing process can be entertaining to watch in real time and to examine in hindsight. Come on up on Grandpa’s knee and let me tell you a story … *cue harp music and echo effects* … once upon a time…

When a writer referred to a URL in an article in the 1990s, it was typically printed in its entirety: http://www.grammar.com.  Then the hypertext abbreviation was dropped, and soon the www wasn’t required…  *harp music stops* …

Now you can just write grammar.com in cases when it is obvious you are referring to a URL. URLs are punctuated normally, and AP additionally recommends you not wrap a URL around a line break.  

The term for a URL back in the http://www days was Web site, always with a capital W, and always two words. It is now a single word, and it is not capitalized. This of course can vary within some publishing environments, but if any company’s communications function is still hanging on to either the two words or the capitalization, they are showing themselves to be out of touch.

One interesting and telling tradition is that Internet was always capitalized and remains so, because we all know that it is the boss.