I Say E-Mail, You Say Email: WebRef Update Feature | 2 | WebReference

I Say E-Mail, You Say Email: WebRef Update Feature | 2

I Say E-Mail, You Say Email

Best of Both Worlds

Here comes the fun part, there are terms that mix upper and lower case letters. JavaScript, RealAudio, QuickTime, and WebTV fall into this group and they are correct. These are known as midcaps, intercaps, mixed case, WikiName, or whatever you've heard. Programmers use intercaps frequently especially since they avoid using spaces in database and file names.

Just remember that company names that utilize the mixed cases are written in the same manner as their owners identify them. However, if a name has five or more capital letters, then it can be written with just the first letter capitalized.

If you've run into a hacker Web Site or a teen chat room, you've seen the ultimate oVERdoInG oF inTErCApS and it is just plain ugly and difficult to read.


This is Giving Me a Headache, I Need Some Java

You've seen it as java, JAVA, and Java. Now, which is it? It is not JAVA sinceit not an abbreviation nor acronym. All programming languages are capitalized including C, Perl, and Pascal. Therefore, it is Java.

O Romeo, O Romeo - No PDA in this Play

Shakespeare was known for writing very few romantic scenes because all of his actors were men for both the male and female roles. So, you rarely see his characters showing PDA, or public display of affection. You were thinking personal digital assistant, weren't you? PDA has become very commonplace since the PalmPilot stormed the industry. But, I have to agree with the experts out there that we should not use PDA since before CE (computer era) it was love lingo.

Instead, use palmtop, handheld, or refer to the hardware by its brand name.

Mind Your Ps and Qs and FAQs

One of my pet peeves is when I see "FAQ's" with the apostrophe. I didn't know Mr. FAQ had his own personal belongings. Actually, it's not true and it should be "FAQs" to indicate more than one. It's weird looking especially when you do "Dos and Don'ts" since you think DOS as in the operating system. I just read an article that stated, "This is used with very small PDA's." I am sure this is a reference to more than one palmtop; so in this case, think Romeo and use "palmtops" or "handheld devices."

And after all this, 3Com, the makers of the PalmPilot, recently has started using the world "palmpowered." Oy, here we go again...


About the author:

Meryl Kaplan Evans has been hanging out on the web since 1993 and is still kicking herself for not making the most of her hobby especially when she created her first Web page in that same year. Meryl, two syllables like Cheryl and not one like Merle, currently writes for The Dallas Morning News, is a technical assistant at NYU, develops and maintains various Web sites for nonprofit organizations, is the co-editor of a monthly nonprofit organization's newsletter, and has a part-time job as an analyst with a telecommunications company until something comes along in the Web design world. She can be reached at meryl@onramp.net

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This article originally appeared in the November 2, 2000 edition of the WebReference Update Newsletter.


Comments are welcome
Written by Meryl Evans and

Revised: November 3, 2000

URL: http://webreference.com/new/webgrammar2.html