Which do you use? Which form do you prefer? Which is correct?
This article has evolved as I became distracted whilst starting to write another article about the above mentioned topic. The "pedantic" part of my personality led me to research (and I do love to research) which form is right, which is the most used and whether the form is related to country and here are my findings.
Oxford English Dictionary
My first port of call was The Oxford English Dictionary entry which spells it e-book and describes it as "An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device".
John Chapman left a message on the above site saying a Google search has shown 306,000,000 results for ebook and 97,900,000 results for "e-book". Make of that, what you will!
The Cambridge Dictionary follows suit with e-book and simply describes it as an "Electronic book" as does the Collins English Dictionary which also includes E-book for the start of a sentence. Collins describe themselves as pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819. The Macmillan Dictionary concurs with this spelling.
Merriman Webster, the dictionary and thesaurus of American English also uses e-book. The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Handbook both say e-book and if capitalised, it’s E-book.
So how about eBook? This conforms to Camel Case, also written camelCase, CamelCase (but let's not go down that path and get distracted again) - this is a typographical convention in which an initial capital is used for the first letter of a word forming the second element of a closed compound, e.g.PayPal, iPhone, MasterCard according to Oxford Dictionaries.
ebook.com uses this variation as does WH Smith, formed in 1792 by Henry Walton Smith and which is a British retailer operating a chain of High Street retail shops. The ad for Microsoft Reader also uses this format.
Adding To The Confusion!
dictionary.com uses e-book, ebook, and eBook, the world's leading digital dictionary. Also as an aside, my Pages version on my iPad autocorrects to Ebook, e-book and E-Book.
In many respects, it's really a style choice but I very much hope that it evolves like "email" has from "e-mail". I really do prefer "ebook" and "Ebook" although I have no problem with "eBook" and "EBook" although the latter is my least favourite due to it's unappealing look.
However, for purposes of accuracy according to the English dictionaries I will include the dash, so for me it's e-book and E-book. That's for the time being, but watch this space!
What version do you prefer to use? I would also be delighted to hear your thoughts on this article and whether it has helped clear up some of the confusion on the spelling or whether it has added more uncertainty and indecision.
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