I am in the midst of writing an article and got distracted by how to spell the word e-book. I tend to use e-book because that is what I thought the dictionary said to use. After all, e-reader is correct. Many online publications, especially British ones, just use ebook. The article I am quoting from just uses ebook.
I went back again to check the dictionary, hoping there had been a change. No luck . The Oxford says e-book. Merriam-Webster also says e-book. Confusingly, Dictionary.com gives both spellings, along with my personal favorite, the camelback style, eBook. And, according to Grammar Girl, the AP style guides says e-book.
So I find myself in the awkward position of either having to correct the original copy if I use e-book, use [sic], or have mixed styles on the blog post. Or, I can just give in and write ebook like every other blog I read.
Which form do you use?
My rues is that the only time it’s okay to to use a dash in a word is when you might also use the longer version.
For example, ebook is short for electronic book, but you would never say the longer version so I would leave out the dash.
Nate, that makes perfect sense. Since I am almost at the “To heck with it, let’s just use ebook” stage, I may borrow your rationale, dictionaries be damned! 🙂
It is a good rule, isn’t it?
It also works for words like email, which the AP style guide says should be e-mail.
I would never put a hyphen in email. So why is ebook treated differently.
BTW, you have won me over to the dark side. I wound up using ebooks instead of e-book in my next post! 🙂
I may have used either one, depending on the circumstances, but I prefer ebook.
Karen, I agree. It looks better without the hyphen, doesn’t it?