Though it may not always be apparent from my occasionally incoherent ravings on this blog, I am an English major.
And like many English majors, I tend to be a bit of (a) stickler when it comes to the evolution of our language. I wrinkle my nose at terms like “mixtape”, “staycation” and “frenemy.” I resent it when people use words that have had long-held meanings in a new context e.g. “voluptuous” now means “overweight” in certain circles.
And for a very long time I insisted that it was “e-mail”, not “email.” We even debated the word here in the office with most of the twenty-somethings doing a very poor job of hiding their amusement that
us we old-timers could cling so firmly to our precious hyphen.
For years however, I had the power of the press behind me. Every traditional publication at least, was consistently using “e-mail” so I certainly wasn’t going to abandon it.
Today however, the hook that I had been hanging my e-mail hat on, was unexpectedly taken away in the form – of all things – a tweet.
Not just any tweet. An official tweet from the folks who run the AP Style Book twitter account, in which they said:
There we have it. Not that the Associated Press is necessarily the last word on spelling, but if they have now moved to a world of hyphen-less emails, it’s only a matter of time before it makes its way into more official records such as the Oxford English Dictionary.
So long e-mail. We had a good ride, but I think our time to part ways has come. I’ll miss you old friend. I’ll always remember with great fondness the time you entered my life and all of the promise and excitement that you brought with you. I will especially miss your hyphen. It suited you.
It’s a sad day for the many people who have come to rely on del.icio.us, a very popular social bookmarking site. Yahoo, which bought the site in 2005, is now in the midst of shutting it down after deeming it an “off-strategy product.” This news comes to us via TechCrunch who verified the story with a WSJ reporter as well as with Yahoo itself, mere days after announcing it had layed off 4% of its staff in a recent downsizing exercise. Some people will remember delicious as one of the sites that kicked web 2.0 into high gear back when it launched in 2003.
And while this will certainly be disruptive, there are alternatives for people now forced to seek a new home for their bookmarks. Andrew has written several times about the excellent Xmarks site which not only organizes your bookmarks, but synchronizes them across multiple browsers, platforms and devices. Xmarks is the tool I have come to depend on for bookmarking as it lets me keep my personal and professional sites all neatly organized in one place.
So Sync readers, will this announcement change things for you or were you never big users of delicious to begin with?
Update: According to Delicious’s blog, the service is not being shuttered, with Yahoo opting instead to find another home (owner) for the product. So it seems Delicious has a stay of execution at the least and possibly new masters in the longer term. However, with no buyer immediately on the horizon, Delicious’s future is far from certain.