Talk:Email/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Email versus E-mail

How about adding the phrase, "(generally spelled 'e-mail' by the press, but 'email' by the computer industry)"

Well someone edited it back without comment. Now what? From my point of view Wikipedia is propagating a clear error. Do I set it back again?

Note that the RFC documents for TCP/IP, SMTP, POP and IMAP always refer to "mail" or "email". In this sense, the preference for "e-mail" on Wikipedia is not a judgement call, but simply an error, and should be corrected.
From the article: "abbreviated 'e-mail' or, more commonly, 'email'." Yes, and "OMG" is more common than "Oh my god." But when the masses are disregarded, and one searches Google News to determine which spelling of "e-mail" is more commonly used by educated writers, one learns that "e-mail" is used thrice as often. -- 02:42, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Please look at the bottom of this [1] page, on Donald Knuth's homepage. From there it is clear that using 'e-mail' as opposed to 'email' is anti-American, so if we prefer not to subject ourselves to massive aerial bombardments, and avoid the faith of the teachers unions and the pro-choice crowd [2], I think it might be better if we use 'email' primarily. Sorry for the sarcasm:) I'm just trying to attract attention because I agree with professor Knuth's comment and I think it'd be better to converge towards using 'email' and not 'e-mail'. --Nimc 19:12, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

If it's anti-American, I'd love to use that spelling. We're not an American encyclopaedia. Scr*w them. 14:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
What's Knuth's comment on european-language versions of the "email" word all about? Ojw 12:58, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
He's probably talking about the OED definition of email, which includes the definition of "embossed (with a raised pattern) or perh. arranged in a net or open work”. See [3], for example. -- Kaszeta 13:49, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
yes, but the hyphen is there to stand instead of the apostrophe which is normally used in words that are contracted or shortened. This means that the proper and correct spelling of 'Electronic Mail' is 'E-mail'.
true, true. he has a point.

Some comments:

And, the word "spam" in English is either unwanted email or canned meat. I think the French/Germans can live with "email" as enamel or messages, just as they handle spam. -Wikid77 16:52, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Knuth's arguments concerning hyphen omission is not "avoiding bombs" but that the hyphen in two-word expressions got dropped when it became common. I don't agree for several reasons:
  1. Concerning the example he gives, "nonzero" is still less common than "non-zero" according to google (9oo ooo vs 1.4 M hits)
  2. I just tried another one than came to my mind, "nondemocratic" (23ooo) vs "non-democratic" (116ooo)...
  3. Why create "nonzero", when "non-zero" already exists for several years ? Mainly laziness, I suppose. Indeed, it also get more and more common to write "U R" instead of "You are", so please, those who want to be ahead of their time, feel free...
  4. The case of e-mail is not at all the same; "e" is not a word, but an abbreviation. We still say H-bomb, G-point,... and also A-grade, T-shirt, and so on, and I doubt this will ever change. MFH 14:41, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The last point brings up another issue: that the E in e-mail is pronounced as a distinct letter rather than as part of the following word. If it were the latter, the pronunciation would be merged with the following letter, in this case the letter m. The first syllable is pronounced ee, not em. -- Yama 04:52, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I fully agree with the last two people, MFH and Yama. To me, it's very simple—it is equivalent to A-bomb (atomic bomb), U-boat (undersea boat), C-section (Cesarean section), e-commerce (electronic commerce), etc. Would you ever spell those words like Abomb, Uboat, Csection, etc.? Not only would it not make sense, like Yama said it could also change the pronunciation. Merriam-Webster defines this use of "e-" (see entry 2) as a combining form and gives the etymology as "e-mail". Merriam-Webster, which is considered the authority on the English language in America, does not even have an entry for "email", and the entry for "e-mail" does not even list a variant. --DylanW 11:56, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
As DylanW rightly points out, there is a whole family of 'e-' terms. Also: the general rule that hyphens disappear with use does not apply if the contracted form is easy to misread. Hence "re-emerge", not "reemerge" etc. The term ecommerce looks strange because it seems to start with the prefix 'eco-'. No doubt there are many other examples. However to me the most convincing argument for the hyphen remains the pronounciation of the letter E, as a letter of the alphabet rather than an opening vowel. (And yes: pedantic linguists can be very annoying). 10:08, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I think the pedantic linguists are idiots. But the debate of "email" versus "e-mail" is rather extensive, and there's a whole sub-argument carried by people who insist it can't be a noun and that the proper term is "e-mail message." Like I said, I think it's dumb -- but it is significant, and all this should be addressed in the article. It probably deserves its own subsection. Opinions?

Yeah, I agree that the argument takes up a lot of time with very little outcome. I like "Email", cause
  • it's shorter
  • I agree with Donald Knuth (if it's used common, make it easy)
  • It takes less time to write
  • Why reduce homonymns? (Vitreous enamel vs. Email) They exist anyway.
  • "Email" is more common (2 billion vs. 1.6 billion (!) google hits)
Question of adding a subsection about the debate: If there are other people talking about the debate, why not. I'm not sure it's a widely-debated thing, though. Peter S. 15:29, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

The definition of Internet email (RFC 2822) says email, not e-mail. Same for those who discuss it, manage it...; see, (postfix, exim just call it 'mail'!) Gen'l use too, as someone mentioned, per google, is mostly 'email'. Of major free email providers: AOL and Hotmail call it e-mail (AOL uses both, actually); google and Yahoo call it email. Not to mention that 'email' was dominant until some massive site-wide editing took place, some of which I've reverted. Elvey 05:46, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

In the grand tradition of inventing new words for new concepts, I'd vote for email with both hands. Will

At the very least the title of this article should be changed from 'E-mail' to 'Email'. I was actually surprised to see 'e-mail' used in this article outside of a historical context -- let alone to see that it was being used as the article's title. Ultimately, it appears that the use of the 'e-mail' form is a holdover from the early/mid 1990s when many tech terms were being introduced to mainstream culture and were still hyphenated when abbreviated as they had been in previous decades. And that, furthermore, this hyphenated form has been perpetuated into the 21st century by the common scenario of newcomers to technology often and unwittingly absorbing outdated information during the process of self-teaching.

In addition, the numbers listed above for hits that resulted from searches on Google are incorrect -- or more likely just out-of-date. Furthermore, I think it's unfair to simply use Google as the only source (just because something is trendy and hyped doesn't mean it's the only pertinent source out there -- nor the best). Therefore, I've included some current (as of Feb 25, 2006) numbers from several of the most widely used search engines:

  • Yahoo: 'email' = 3,430,000,000 / 'e-mail' = 2,410,000,000
  • Altavista: 'email' = 3,440,000,000 / 'e-mail' = 2,410,000,000
  • Google: 'email' = 2,260,000,000 / 'e-mail' = 1,870,000,000
  • MSN: 'email' = 596,699,110 / 'e-mail' = 474,126,191
  • Lycos: 'email' = 518,620,000 / 'e-mail' = 276,720,000

Hope this helps towards the eventually refinement of this article. -- Stereoisomer 20:49, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Right, because what is popular is always what is semantically correct :p Family Guy Guy 16:29, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
13-September-2006: Now, the relative counts of the spellings are:
  • Google: 'email' = 4,480,000,000 / 'e-mail' = 3,620,000,000 / both = 668,000,000.
Those figures are from Google advanced-search of "email" without "e-mail" etc. -Wikid77 17:10, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

"E-mail" must go. The correct spelling is "email". Don Knuth is correct, of course. 18:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Obviously there is some disagreement as to what is "correct". Wikipedia does not operate by a majority vote either. And I believe the titles of articles use the spelling preferred by the original author. 11:26, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • And Bill Walsh insists on "e-mail." The point is, the debate is notable and needs to be acknowledged. It's not our job, as an encyclopedia, to decide which convention is better or best. That's a job for a stylebook. We just need to report the existence of an extensive disagreement.

This is almost certainly a waste of bandwidth, but I can't resist offering a few observations about "e-mail" vs. "email". First, in my view, both are far too cutesy. And both lead to the egregious locution "an e-mail/email", even though nobody would say "Send me/I received a mail". But since "email" looks as if somebody's commenting on the state of health of Dorothy Gale's uncle's wife, it's clearly the worse of the two. Though I say it who coined it, I dearly wish people would instead call it netmail, as we called it when we were inventing it [and I do mean "we"; see the relevant External Link (the identity of which will soon be made obvious)] -- but, then, I also wish people would pronounce "WWW" as "sextuple-U", though not nearly as dearly.

cheers, map Mike Padlipsky (a/k/a M. A. Padlipsky, when writing published articles and, of course, The Book)

For what it's worth: A few months ago, I happened to watch an episode of Countdown (game show), in which a contestant offered "email" as a word. The lovely learned lady in 'Dictionary Corner' explained that the word was permitted as an answer because "it used to be hyphenated, but isn't any longer" (hyphenated words aren't permitted as answers in the show). That was when I decided to start using "email" rather than "e-mail". 17:13, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft use "email". CNN, BBC and New York Times use "e-mail" but they are incorrect. Large media organizations use style manuals, and that makes them slow to adjust to changes in usage. "Email" is now a very common english word and there is no-longer any reason it should be hyphenated. Also, search for "email headers" vs. "e-mail headers". People who know more about email prefer the spelling "email" almost 4 to 1.

The OED contains two entries for "email", and one for "e-mail". The spelling "e-mail" is given only as a spelling for the verb.

This page has a link to Wiktionary which uses the spelling "email"; if the article remains "e-mail" that ought to be changed to suit. It appears to me that Wiktionary pages for "email" and "e-mail" are identical. Currently it contains this note: "The spellings e-mail and email are both in common use. The use of “email” is now more widespread, likely due to one less character and thus making it easier to write or type, and is becoming a standardized usage for most businesses and Internet users. In general, the hyphenated form is more likely to be considered proper by those who follow strict grammatical rules; however, as a recently coined word, it remains an unsettled matter at this point."

Shall we take a neutral tone here, as Wiktionary, or cede to "email" for the noun, as the OED does? Personally, I vote for the using "email" throughout with a prominent section about the alternate usage, including a list of style manuals which currently use the spelling "e-mail". Jodi.a.schneider 00:05, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I began using "email" (no hyphen) in 1973 while working at USC-ISI, where later Marty Yonke wrote the bananard client -- later renamed wrd, but Marty's choice of "bananard", not "banana-rd", is another example of longstanding practice in forming acronyms. "email" was among the set of acronyms arising from computing usage, not compound words that derived from English language usage. Throughout the 34 years since then I've been using "email" without a hyphen. The word "email" SHOULD be unhyphenated. Paul Raveling 17:24, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

There is no controversy. Wikipedia is supposed to reflect what neutral, verifiable expert sources say. Acknowledged, documented experts on the subject of email nigh-universally call it "email". Ergo, the name of the article ought to be changed, as well as the content, to reflect this. -- 17:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Date of first email

  • The first email (message from one computer to another linked only by arpanet, using '@' to separate username from host) has been sent in Oct.1971, according to R. Tomlinson, see [4] where you even have a link on the photograph of the computers sending and receiving it, which makes it particularly "authentic" to me (w.r.t. many other sources citing him giving the same year).
  • The page for 1971 cites "first email", 1972 does not, but most pages cite the latter (which should be corrected).
  • Maybe the best would be to create a page First email where a detailed account is given (including as many "digested" references as possible) allowing people to find the year corresponding to the definition of "first email" they intend. MFH 14:41, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Morse code?!

There was a sentence here saying something to the effect that e-mail has essentially replaced Morse code. That's like saying jet airplanes replaced the horse and buggy, without mentioning the bicycle, cars, buses, and everything else. The telegraph was all but replaced already by the telephone. E-mail has hardly made a dent in that. --LDC

Useful intermediate points between telegrams and email would be not the telephone, but rather telex and fax. Like email and telegrams -- and unlike telephone -- these are textual and message-based media rather than bidirectional voice media.
It seems to me that email is replacing fax, much as fax displaced telex, to some extent in business. One empirical measure of this would be what contact information people place on their business cards -- once it was phone and telex; then phone and fax; now frequently either phone, fax, and email or simply phone and email.
(I actually dealt with a telex-to-email gatewaying issue last year, which rather surprised me -- I had no idea my workplace was still using telex!) --FOo 15:12, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Although the social problems of email links are useful, they could be slightly more useful by being more than a linklist. Ought to get on to that one sometime... -- User:Bbtommy

Earliest networked message system?

John G. Kemeny (late former President of Dartmouth College and co-inventor of BASIC once told me (in 1985) in a private conversation that, although he could not prove it, he believed that the earliest use of computers for person-to-person messaging occurred in 1964, on DTSS (the Dartmouth Time Sharing System). While not email, per se, the story could add some background. Apparently, a male Dartmouth student set up a shared file for exchanging text messages with his girlfriend. That's all it was, but it served a purpose. Dartmouth was all-male at the time, and the girlfriend was able to access the system via teletype from the all-female college in Massachusetts that she was attending. Dr. Kemeny remarked that this story proved that motivated students were the best innovators... after all, what greater motivation could there be?

Is this worth noting here? If not, how about if I get corroboration? I've found a web site ([5]) dedicated to discussions amongst the programmers who developed DTSS, and one of them may be able to verify the story.

I'd say no, because it wasn't a mechanism created intended for general use. Also, there were probably other instances of something like this, which will of course be undocumented because they were personal, and it would be unfair to call out this particular one. Noel 18:56, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I came to this article for other reasons, and noted the supposition that 'SAGE' may have had some email capabilities. I worked in SAGE for 3 years as a RICMO (Radar Inputs Countermeasures Officer). I was intimately involved in how the computer operated, and passed data. SAGE did not have emaill as we know it today. It passed target track information in frames between sectors. This was not email in the sense of person A sending a message to Person B. It was formated electronic data indicating direction, height, identity, and other information of aircraft tracks. Only in the broadest sense would this be called email. Any communication between sectors more complex than that was done by phone. I'd recommend either eliminating the reference to SAGE or adding the comment "This was limited to formatted data regarding airplane tracks, not human communication."

I, too, came to this article for other reasons ("googing" for 'padlipsky personal web page', actually) and originally intended simply to comment on "E-mail was quickly extended to become network e-mail, allowing users to pass messages between different computers. The messages could be transferred between users on different computers by 1966, but it is possible the SAGE system had something similar some time before." which is more than mildly ludicrous in that what's currently thought of as "networks" weren't in existence by 1966. [No, I won't get involved in a debate over when networks did happen -- beyond mentioning that ARPANET wasn't _really_ going in '69; the first very few sites were attached to IMPs, but the important protocols were barely even discussed yet.)

However, having gotten into the racket via the SDC SAGE Programmer Training course myself, I can certainly offer some corroboration to the Unknown RICMO's comments w/r/t SAGE's not having netmail, as we called it when we were inventing it. Or if it did it wasn't mentioned in the training program, anyway; since I managed to avoid deployment to a SAGE field site, I can't speak from first-hand experience.

More interesting, to me at any rate, is the mention of passing tracking data from (SAGE) sector to (SAGE) sector. Gosh and golly, if that's the ancestor of anything in today's "world of networking", I bet it's File Transfer!!! (another area in which I worked, as it happens -- and much longer than in SAGE, though it would ill-become me to say much more deeply and significantly, even if I do think so privately).

And speaking of file transfer, unless my eyes slipped the main article doesn't seem to mention that netmail, as we called it when we were inventing it, was originally implemented (or instantiated, if you prefer) as an FTP command. See the relevant External Link for more, if you're curious ... where the relevant link's identity should become obvious when I sign this (since I really don't want to bother creating an account):

cheers, map Mike Padlipsky (a/k/a M. A. Padlipsky, when writing published articles and, of course, The Book)


Should discuss attachments. --Daniel C. Boyer 16:12, 9 Sep 2003 (EDT)

This might be good literature on that topic:

Whittaker, S. and Sidner C., Email Overload: Exploring Personal Information Management of Email. Proceedings of CHI 1996 (Vancouver, April 1996), ACM, pp. 276-283.

--Hullbr3ach 3 July 2005 23:51 (UTC)

I agree with Daniel Boyer (1st post) but don't have time or expertise to research this.

Besides attachments, should also discuss graphic or other non-text content, e.g. drawings or photographs (audio files too?), that gets placed directly in the message section of the email. How is this done? and does it increase the of malware getting in when a message is opened?

E-mail not using SMTP over TCP/IP

Just noticed that there's no mention of X.400, FidoNet, early private email networks like MCIMail, or of email on on-line services like CompuServe and AOL (before they offered Internet access). I think I'll start working on filling in a few of these blanks. Rhsatrhs 13:19, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

E-mail address explanation

Currently says:

A modern Internet e-mail address is a string of the form It should be read as "jsmith at". The first part is the username of the person, and the second part is the domain name (hostname) of the computer in which that person has an e-mail account.

If no one objects, I will soon replace that with:

A modern Internet e-mail address is a string of the form It should be read as "jsmith at corporation dot com". The part after the at-sign is the domain name (hostname) of a particular computer. The part before the at-sign indicates a particular account (username) of a person who uses that computer.

Why is it "modern" ? It is better to say: the recommended (by ... in 20?? = format of the address is the following. However, adhering to this convention is not enforced (i.e. is a valid address). rené bach

-- DavidCary 19:33, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

That paragraph has three mistakes: the part after the @ is not necessarily a hostname nor does it necessarily correspond to a particular computer; the part before the @ does not necessarily correspond to an account or username. Now fixed. Gdr 16:26, 2004 May 14 (UTC)
I agree with DavidCary, this isn't a "modern" Internet e-mail address -- they've always been in this format on the Internet. I've removed the word "modern". Adw2000 11:00, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

How often is Email actually used, compared to Snail Mail

Can anyone add statistics comparing E-Mail with snail mail? I couldnt find any on the net. Thanks (Consti)

I believe snail mail has a higher usage Zarroc

Most peoples' bank and billing are done through snail-mail; e-mail has more spam/junk than the snails, though. So I'm not sure. If we're talking legitimate, solicited/nonadvertising e-mail, then I'd say snail mail. In terms of total volume, I'd suggest e-mail. But "Consti" is right -- actual usage data would be important. Does, say, the USPS have any statistics databases? We might at least be able to give some sort of figures for the United States. -- Drostie 07:22, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Separate "Email security" page?

I just noticed someone's added an article on "is it time to encrypt email" -- do we/should we have a separate page for "email encryption and authentication"? Maybe covering:

- PGP, GPG, S/MIME and whatever outlook uses
- transport layer encryption, POP over SSL etc.
- Non-signature (e.g. SPF) verification methods

Ojw 13:03, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There are already articles on Email authentication, SMTP-AUTH, S/MIME (stub), PGP, GPG, Transport Layer Security, and Sender Policy Framework. I gather you're talking about how all these fit together specifically in the context of e-mail? I think it might be sufficient to expand the "Privacy problems regarding e-mail" section. --Rick Block (talk) 13:34, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

Reader Friendliness?

Can we please have a more reader friendly page about email? The topic itself is so pervasive and its cultural impact, etc. is not really covered well. There is too much jargon about how email works. It is not getting the page it deserves imo. -- 20:05, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Possibly a Jargon-free page for those who may not know what all the abbreviations mean? (i know i don't) Zarroc

E-Mail vs E-mail address

I believe we should keep the following three topics separated (as separate definitions):

1) E-Mail (system) is the whole system that a user uses to send letters in electronic forms (including multimedia information) (client e-mail application, e-mail-server, Internet)

2) Item sent by the user of the email system

3) email address (abrv. sometimes: email) is the reference used to address the e-mail. The address is needed to send the email to the intended person. The address is handled differently than the body of the message. (How, I am no expert)

We could reference to the article explaining the different headers/fields of the e-mail: timestamp, routing info, To: From:, etc...

rené bach, terminologue, Switzerland Renebach

  • I agree that they should be kept separate. This article is very long and merging them will only make it much longer. Jll 09:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


craig of craigslist said that 1-2% of emails sent to big free email servers (e.g. hotmail, gmail, etc.) never make it through due to the nature of the technology. there should be something about that. [6] Comment from anon user

  • How reliable a source is craig of craigslist? Jll 09:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Very Ben


mailto: redirects here, but the article doesn't contain the term mailto. Fix it. 15:49, 1 May 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps we should have a discussion about the plural of E-mail? I've always thought that E-mail was both singular and plural, as in "I got an e-mail from Jessica," or "I'm checking my e-mail." You don't hear, "I'm checking my e-mails." However I'm increasingly hearing both, "I had a lot of e-mail" and "I had a lot of e-mails". I'm sure it's something more for Wikiticionary but, which is correct?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

But would one say "I'm sending different email to five different people" or "I'm sending different emails to five different people"? Bayerischermann 05:01, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I think both are acceptable. Like "fish" and "fishes". ChaosSorcerer91 17:48, 30 September 2006 (GMT)
Isn't the simplest solution just to use e-mail as an adjective, i.e. "I sent e-mail messages to five people"? -- Rick Block (talk) 18:11, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Both forms are used. It's bootless to say that one is "correct" and the other "incorrect" without reference to some kind of standard, such as a newspaper's style guide or a general understanding that one form is representative of better education.

It's true that emails is sometimes used as a plural, as in "I got a thousand spam emails this week" or "I sent emails to ten people today." (Contrast this latter with "I sent email to ten people today," which doesn't suggest that each message was sent to one person.) --FOo 20:27, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


This article had a lot of "unenclosed link braces" (eg, ... HTML]] ...). I fixed what I saw, but someone might need to go through with a fine-tooth comb. 17:20, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Too short and needs section on different protocols

This is way to short to be an article about something as important as email! Somehow, more info. should be added to this article. Also, there needs to be sections built in to this article on the different email protocols of IMAP, POP, and SMTP.

Too long and needs a lighter touch

Seems to me, it's only an individual article and should not attempt to be an encyclopedia of E-mail technology. What it fails to do is describe E-mail to people who use it but don't understand that they've got an AOL client, or that there are servers in between. The "How it works" section needs to start with somthing like, "The sender's computer is running a "client" program including a writing program. It sends the message to a "server" computer, which sends it through other servers as necessary, to the recipient's computer which is also running a client program. This client shows the message to the recipient." Alphabet soup jargon such as RFC, CCITT, SMPT may be listed, but should only be used in later, more detailed paragraphs. Most of the more advanced questions should be relegated to linked articles along with other protocols and details. Jim.henderson 15:12, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Foreign E-mails

How come people from all over the world threaten me with foreign e-mails labeled "URGENT!"?! All these foreign people of foreign banks talk about is that some Mr. Andreas Schranner from Munich, Germany, died in the plane crash along with his family and all other passengers on Monday, July 31, 2000, and that his $6.8 million will be unclaimed bills unless I get the funds transferred to their account immediately. I think it's only a scam to promote my identity theft. Do you? --Angeldeb82 18:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I also recieve many emails like that . I also recieved that Mr. Andreas Schranner from Munich, Germany, died in the plane crash along with his family and all other passengers ......... . I also don't want to recieve such mails . --Anishgirdhar 06:35, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Other languages

What's this section all about? What the writer of this section intending to let readers know of this exact article in another language?

Delete the section?100110100 01:07, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Note: this section was deleted a while back. Wrs1864 03:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
suggest move this sub section to the archive Sanjiv swarup (talk) 16:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
moved it Sanjiv swarup (talk) 02:46, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Re-modified lede by davecrocker

This entry is an explanation for undoing the reversal of my previous modifications to the beginning of the article.

  1. Either all email is 'store and forward' or only email sent via a network is. The word "modern" isn't meaningful with respect to store and forward. What is meaningful is that an email service exists only on one machine or it crosses a network. 'Modern' email uses a network. Saying 'modern' does not convey this key point of functional enhancement
  2. The phrase "creating, transmitting, or storing" means that you can, for example, have an email system that merely creates messages, but alas you can't. So the original language was making a factual error. The new language essentially offers a precis on the functional nature of email and it dominant use for human exchange.
  3. The reference to text-based is archaic. While indeed, Internet mail began as text based and continues to be dominated by that form, the presence of multi-media attachments and multi-national character encoding for some of the header information moves it beyond that characterization. Messages are often sent with no text in the body, instead relying on graphics, audio, or the like. By saying 'text-based' in the article, it begs the question of the alternative; is the goal to suggest something like voicemail or fax? But those are sent via Internet mail too!
  4. The reference to standardization is off by at least 5 years -- when RFC 733 was formally adopted in 1977 -- and could even be argued as going back to Arpanet-wide adoption of mail transmission via the FTP email commands in the earlier 70s. Given that an Arpanet email of the 70's is nearly compatible with what was standardized, later, for the Internet, a detailed recitation of the history like this ought to get the origin correct.
  5. My adding in references to the email data object, along with email transport, might be taken as a conflict of interest. I'm certainly more than a little close to the topic. More important, I believe, is that people with no SMTP have often been able to participate in Internet mail easily, as long as they could find a way to exchange the email object; a significant example was CSNet, which used RFC 733/RFC 822 objects, but its phone-based service used a different transport protocol . The importance of this flexibility and distinction was largely the motivation for RFC 1775.

So the goal of the modifications is to make the opening give the reader a better sense of the nature of 'modern' Internet mail and its origins.

Davecrocker (talk) 19:46, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Spyware In This Article!>?!>!

Has someone embedded spyware in to this article?!??!!! Maybe code?!?!11 It's only this article too. I can't edit it, TrendMicro blocks me, saying that it blocked me from sending confidental information.100110100 01:20, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Nobody has answered. I feel that there is no spyware in this article. Suggest archive this section Sanjiv swarup (talk) 16:51, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Spamming and e-mail worms

The usefulness of e-mail is being threatened by three phenomena: spamming, phishing and e-mail worms.

phishing is not discussed in the article. Please add it. --YoavD 12:39, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

this is not a useful post any longer . I propose archiving it . Comments requested Sanjiv swarup (talk) 09:24, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Email character encoding problem (japanese character set not supported)

an often seen problem is not mentioned here! when you get an email with japanese characters they often translate to a jibberish of other signs but when send to a japanese mobile phone they translate right

please mention that and add links to web based translation pages and software for home use. 05:08, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Please explain "push email" in this article

I'm reading about it in discussions of mobile phones but don't understand the term. Thanks. --Anishgirdhar 06:37, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

As it happens, we already have an entire article on push e-mail; I've added a link. Thanks for your suggestion! -- Beland 00:15, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Is it worth noting that email is "push" from the author through to the MDA, so that "push" only refers to that last hop to the recipient's client software?

Davecrocker (talk) 19:56, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Regular casing on article title

I changed the title of the article back to standard case format -- i.e., "E-mail" instead of "e-mail". Neither the article or the talk page explains why "e-mail" should be lower-case at all times -- and in fact it shouldn't. "E-mail" isn't like "iPod" -- for example, you would still capitalize "e-mail" when using it to begin a sentence. 00:32, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

To e-mail or not to ...

What is an e-mail?

Well, several times the expression has been explained, debated, questioned, but above all misused.

As I see it, there is no such thing.

Mail, used to be simple. It could be letters, parcels, or anything that your postal service provider would distribute for or to you. The word itself, has no numeral.

Then, people try to bring order to this disorderly world of ours, by correcting, teaching, and suggesting how to use our respective languages on the Internet. One of these, unfortunately linked to by others, can be found at:

Ms. Nobles, by all means a well-meaning person with noble things in her sights, misunderstands the word, then tries to teach you how to use it. Wrongly so, I’m afraid.

If you get a paper message by mail, you would most likely call it a letter. If you get a message through your e-mail service, wouldn't it be better to call it an e-letter?

KenNet —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:40, 2 April 2007 (UTC). Yay! I'm not the only one who still thinks this. Thank you. I call the things delivered to me by e-mail "messages," myself. So far I can't think of a reason for me to need a term such as "e-letter," even.--Jldomini (talk) 13:57, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Mechanism details

Someone asked me recently why e-mail sometimes take more than a few seconds to get through. I know sometimes ail servers get overloaded and they start queuing messages until they can deal with them. And when they are unqueued, they don't necessarily get sent in a first-in, first-out fashion. I'm wondering if anyone has any handy references or is more familiar with the details than I am that would be able to add to the article. I expect there are also other sources of delay.

Also, looking at Received headers on various e-mails, the diagram which explains how e-mail gets from Alice to Bob seems to skip a number of intermediate servers. If someone familiar with how large organizations configure their mails services could explain more about this in the article, that would be enlightening. The current article seems to imply that such servers operate in parallel, but that would not explain the need for the same message to pass through more than two servers (in the sending and receiving ISP).

-- Beland 00:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

SMTP email was never designed to be an instantaneous delivery service. It was built to reliably get messages across the Internet back when fast links between big sites were slower and flakier than even today's slowest modems.
When a mail server tries to send a message to another one and fails, the sending server often does something akin to exponential backoff. It waits a while before retrying; and if that attempt fails too, it waits longer. So the number of failures for a particular message controls how long it'll be, after the link is up again, to try sending it again. --FOo 05:07, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Registered email

In the real world, there is a service named registered mail. The service can offer the sender a notification that the receiver has received the mail. Can someone talk about this servce with email? One of such implmentations is: however, this particular system is not an open one. Is there any rfc (Request for Comments ) for the registered email? or can someone make one? Jackzhp 18:29, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Many email clients offer the sender the ability to request a read receipt, as described in RFC 3798. However, this is not particularly close to registered mail since the system the recipient uses might not support read receipts (even systems that do support them generally allow the recipient to choose whether to send a read receipt or not). The datawitness system seems to use email only to let the recipient know there's a message waiting, and provides monitored access through a web site. This isn't quite the same as registered mail, either (it's more like an archive service that keeps records of people who have visited the archive). I believe "registered email" actually analogous to "registered mail" requires use of a custom email client or a private email delivery service (or both). -- Rick Block (talk) 02:05, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I think that the "read receipt" is a little bit too much, it will be enough as long as the receiver confirms that he/she received the email. The receiver was not required to read it. Jackzhp 17:14, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

What is the purpose of this post ? What is the change that the author wishes to make in the article ? If none, then I suggest archival.

Sanjiv swarup (talk) 09:26, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

E-mail Signature

A real e-mail signature should be a digital signature, rather than some general text, or attached image. Some email clients provide such a function, such as Microsoft's outlook, outlook express, PGP desktop email, etc. Can someone please discuss this a little bit more? Jackzhp 17:05, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Lotus Notes was the first widely marketed email client to offer digital signature, so if the article is going to give examples that point should be included.Rhsatrhs 00:10, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Minor Edits

I fixed a citation missing on the HTML aethestics part and changed the sentence around to better reflect what the article is getting to. I will not post my name. No thanks are needed; I know I rule.

Email vs e-mail, preferred 4 to 1

I removed this from the article:

"Email" without a hyphen is preferred by 4 to 1 among people who work with email technically, as can be seen by comparing the Google search results for "email headers" [7] and "e-mail headers" [8].

It was appropriately tagged as original research. If there were a reliable reference that said this, it'd be OK but citing Google searches to support popularity claims is not. -- Rick Block (talk) 00:55, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Similarly, a Wikipedia editor must not state that the sky is blue. One must instead refer to a documented case where someone else has looked up and said, "Hey, look: the sky is blue." -- 17:21, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, a dice must be rolled: Odds, the common name policy is in effect; evens, it's not.

I've seen the spelling section is now there, and added a couple of references to convey the meaning that it is the wide usage of a term that makes the hyphen annoying. However, I couldn't find a better place than the talk page to insert a reference to the Email Experience Council (ECC) who announces THE OFFICIAL SPELLING OF EMAIL, where Wikipedia is also mentioned:

We support this [spelling] and are working to get this incorporated in to dictionary and reference resources around the world as well as to ensure all the thousands of companies that our members represent, commit to this standard. Wikipedia ( has already been updated

ale 16:22, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 6th edition, (Oxford University Press, 2007) lists the word as:

email noun & verb. Also e-mail.

Note that the Preface to that edition of SOED includes:

As part of general revision, spelling and orthography have been modernized throughout the text, in many cases by the removal of hyphens in compound nouns. This reflects the evidence of prevailing use and is in line with treatment in the rest of the Oxford dictionaries range. (talk) 11:32, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Formatting & 'flow' problems

There is little consistent style to this article. The subheadings shrink and grow without even the most tenuous link to the size of those that precede it, or even the heading it 'subs' for. The e-mail/email dispute is not clearly outlined and the sentences don't fit together coherently. 02:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, I feel that the "Flamming" section is completely misplaced and practically irellevant. This article could use some fixing. Diizy 20:32, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I re-outlined and re-flowed the article. The article still needs work. Somethings are sporadically repeated, some concepts seem to be missing, and the societal implications are subjective. --Charles Gaudette 22:55, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Quality email needs new name

Since a lot of email is spam, crap and drivel, there may be a need for new word(s) meaning quality email. French has some words Courrier électronique and Courriel which may make do, one suggestion being eCourriel. In English, a courier is a upmarket mail service, so the French word translates well. That might please the Académie française, which is trying to encourage the greater use of French words.

Tabletop 02:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

allowed characters in the email address

I couldn't find what characters are allowed in the email address, i thought ill let you know, ill add it if i find it somewhere else .-- 09:53, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

The format of email addresses including the allowed characters are defined in RFC 2821 (or RFC 821). The address is local-part@domain where local-part consists of 7-bit ASCII characters but not control characters (i.e. characters with decimal value 32-126, inclusive) while domain is a valid DNS domain or an IP address in square brackets. The exact rules are difficult to describe precisely without using a formal notation (like BNF). -- Rick Block (talk) 02:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The email address article should answer your question. Please comment on its talk page if you see any way to improve it. -- 03:36, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Email means a lot of things

The first half of this article seems to be focused mainly on IETF standards ("Internet"), and then mainly on SMTP. Even if Internet email was the only kind of email, there's a lot more to email than just SMTP. While there are a few links to things like POP, IMAP, user agents, etc., the focus of the first half of this article is mainly about SMTP internals. Then it switches to some very general commentary on the socioeconomic aspects. And there's no mention of other email systems.

I propose: Making E-mail a generic article on e-mail in the general case, covering the features common to most systems (to/bcc/subject/body, sending and receiving, etc.) and the socioeconomic stuff. There should be brief survey coverage of email specific systems, including more than just SMTP, and more than just Internet -- mention X.400, BITNET, FidoNet, etc., proprietary services of old like CompuServ and MCI Mail, and modern corporate systems such as Exchange and Notes. Of course, cover SMTP, POP, and IMAP, too. Possibly a separate Internet e-mail article which gives an overview of the SMTP/POP process and alternatives.

Thoughts? Objections? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 23:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

like so much of wikipedia, this article is a cesspool of bad writing. i've made my share of attempts just trying to fix bad grammar and syntax as a starting point; improvements to the content would be glorious, if you have the time and inclination...Anastrophe 01:15, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

"Global" email market share? no.

a section was added to the article called 'market share', claiming in part "In 2006, IBM and Microsoft still dominated the global e-mail and calendaring software market[...]".

here's the citation in its entirety:

"Market Share: Enterprise E-Mail and Calendaring Software, Asia/Pacific and Japan, 2006

21 August 2007

Hai Hong Huang Tom Eid

The e-mail and calendaring software market in Asia/Pacific is still nascent. While IBM and Microsoft dominate this market, with 92.3% share based on total software revenue, hosted and open-source-based e-mail offerings are now making inroads. More-mature Japan registered 10% growth in 2006. "

where in that does it suggest anything having to do with global market share? it doesn't. the added info is a complete misrepresentation of the actually cited material. thus, out it comes. Anastrophe 02:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

You're absolutely right. I should have seen that. Good catch. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:44, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I was the editor who originally reverted that text. It also defined the market for email too narrowly. It only referred to corporate email products, as typified by Exchange and Notes/Domino. I'm of the opinion that the article is better without it, but the text could be reintroduced with corrections and relevant references. (BTW, I don't know how the minor flag got set—that wasn't my intention.) ... richi 11:42, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Validating email addresses in web forms

An article on "Best practice in validating email addresses in web forms" ran into arguments about it being advertising, and has been moved to User:BenB4/Email sandbox. I've no idea how much of this is useful or needs to be cleaned up / referenced, but it seems a good idea to discuss with User:Badcop666 how best to improve this and either incorporate a section into this article, or make a new article. .. dave souza, talk 08:52, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

There's now a neat article at HTML form e-mail address validation which should at the least be linked from here, so I'll add it to See also, and should probably be mentioned in the text. .. dave souza, talk 14:08, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by "neat", but I've just prodded it as wholly prescriptive. Things like that belong on Wikibooks. Chris Cunningham 15:11, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I see it's been deprodded. I think there is something that could be salvaged from it, but it probably ought to be merged into E-mail address (which in itself could use some improvement). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC) I've now done. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 02:43, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


The word mailto redirects here, but there is no explanation of what it is in the text. It should be mentioned at some point, otherwise it's not really a valid redirect (since it's not a redirect used to correct common spelling mistakes). —msikma (user, talk) 09:46, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Redirects are used for more than just correcting spelling mistakes.
I have added a short section about mailto, which is a URI scheme name.
Unfortunately I do not know any more than I have written, which stands to reason really -- I clicked on 'mailto' because I didn't know what it meant, ended up here, and was none the wiser!
Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can expand it further.
Hymek (talk) 12:28, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I have copied the section to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, since it seems more relevant there.
The two redirects (mailto and [[mailto:]] now point there rather than here. (The fact that you cannot actually use the redirect [[mailto:]] in the text is another matter!)
I leave it to others to decide whether the section should be removed from this article.
Hymek (talk) 09:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

History of E-mail

Bizarrely there is zero information about the origins of email on this page. The origins section has disappeared. 02:23, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

But it was in the article's history and easily recovered. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:16, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Discrepancy with this article and Internet_capitalization_conventions article

This article (here) and Internet capitalization conventions do not agree on the capitalization. This article says to capitalize the E, while the other says the e should ALWAYS be lowercase, and to capitalize NOT the e, but the M at the beginning of a sentence. Perhaps someone should do the proper research, citing sources, and fix the discrepancy with both articles? -- 05:35, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Mergeto proposal from Email forwarding

User:Thumperward added that proposal on 2 September 2007, "Unsure why this a separate article anyway, prop merge".

I don't agree, at least for the time being, because email forwarding is a specific part of email practices and being incompatible with it is mentioned as a drawback of SPF. Various pages link there, including SRS. If it is true that there will be an SPF revival in spring 2008 (after two years since publication of experimental RFC 4408) it is probably worth trying to describe in some detail what mail forwarding is, which deserves its own page. ale 19:15, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to remove that proposal now. ale 08:34, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Contacting Wikipedea !

This must be one of the most difficult sites to navigate. Trying to contact you is like pulling teeth! In your living history site you have Renaisance under 1700s, surely that should be 1600s ? The 1700s is the 18th century, since when was the Renaisance in the 18th century.When I tried to contact you on this problem I was instructed to click on the DISCUSSION tag, but this just takes onto somewhere else and so on and so on! You should make your sites simpler to work with, we are not all computer literate, and even if I were I don't see how following direction after direction is sensible. And you are still doing it!!! How does one send this communication!!!??? (talk) 03:34, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

regrettably your confusion far outstrips most editor's ability to help, in my opinion. this is the discussion page for the article about e-mail - you are not emailing anyone by posting here. you need to use the discussion page for the article in question. just post there and someone may be able to guide you. but i think the first thing you need to do is click the 'help' button on the left and start at the beginning. there's so much that's completely out of context with your post that i just don't think anyone can help. Anastrophe (talk) 03:54, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

--this is funny. -- (talk) 06:09, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Mass noun/Count noun

"Although e-mail was originally treated as a mass noun by early network users ("You've got more email than you can handle"), the public has chosen to make e-mail a count noun instead ("You've got more emails than you can handle").[citation needed] To some, this count-noun usage is still discouraged where possible.[citation needed]"

This is just uncited bilge. Remove -- (talk) 00:04, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's uncited, but it's true. "email" was not originally a count-noun (neither was it a verb). Citation still needed, though ... richi (talk) 00:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
"The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." -- WP:V. How do you know it is true? (This isn't an attack on your integrity, but a request for your source. Were you there? Did you read it somewhere? Someone told you?) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 19:44, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, that's why I said c/n. In answer to your question, yes I was there, at least since 1985 ... richi (talk) 01:07, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the issue be decided by analogy to (old/traditional/paper/snail) mail? If there are three letters in a physical mailbox, you don't say "I received three mails today," just "I received mail." The proper plural would be "e-mail messages." Do such basic rules of grammar really have to be verified? (talk) 16:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I found that the APStylebook, which is already cited, has a specific entry to say that the plural of 'e-mail' is 'e-mails'. I have added a short sentence to mention this. Although the cite only mentions the hyphenated form, I didn't think it was unreasonable to include the non-hyphenated form. I deliberately avoided any commentary on how common the usage is (although this is clear from googling the term) as I cannot cite this.
Hymek (talk) 13:01, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Spelling section too long

Even being the inclusionist I am, I think the Spelling section should be shortened. The reader does not need to know that e-mail being shortened to email would not result in a word that does not follow the standard conventions of pronunciation like other words similarly dehyphenated over time. It's just not relevant enough. A reader does not need a full page of controversy over spelling! Antireconciler (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

It's interesting. Keep it in there.
eMail or e-Mail is a spelling I see often. Don't know if it belongs, and don't have time to research at the moment. Ched (talk) 20:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

electron mail?

The term "electron mail" is not a legitimate naming convention, nor an actual term of art. I move that it be struck from the page.

Also, a summary cannot introduce new terms and topics, and "electron mail" never appears in the body of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hozedork (talkcontribs) 19:34, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Is ?! standard punctuation?
The interrobang !? -- (talk) 21:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

"E-mail, short for electronic mail and often abbreviated to e-mail, email or simply mail"

Why is email, in its plural form, emails, while mail, in its plural form, is still mail?

I have six pieces of mail I have six emails (technically - "electronic mail")

Seems like they should be the same... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Urbansissy (talkcontribs) 05:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

See section above, titled Mass noun/Count noun ... richi (talk) 01:07, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

E-mail vs. email

I just worked on a television show that needed to confirm whether "email" appeared in dictionaries without a hyphen. We sent a production assistant to a bookstore and had him check just about every current American dictionary, both abridged and unabridged, and he was unable to find a single one that did. It's certainly possible to find some British-based dictionaries, and some online dictionaries, that contain a hyphenless "email", but there are not many American dictionaries that do. Examples of major ones that do not include the Random House Unabridged and Merriam Webster's Collegiate. So any statement along the lines of "most/all dictionaries contain the spelling 'email'" will be corrected. Qaqaq (talk) 20:34, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Interesting datapoint. However, I'm sure that you wouldn't possibly revert an edit that supplies several WP:V citations from WP:RS ;-) ... richi (talk) 00:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm changing "many" to "some", but it's a matter of degree at this point. I would point out that some of your references are redundant ( is based on the Random House, e.g.) or unreliable (WordNet), but do as you wish there. Qaqaq (talk) 02:21, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I've also come across use of e.mail - I was wondering if this was notable enough for the spelling section. It seems (if memory recalls) an older variant... The Young Ones (talk) 13:26, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, the great e-mail vs email debate/edit-wars appears to be continuing... A recent edit, the subject of the word "email" meaning "enamel" in other languages came up. Not that I think that a false friend in another language should have any impacted on the spelling in English, nor do I think the subject is worth inclusion on the article itself, but I have heard this argument for "e-mail" before. Looking at the Vitreous enamel article, it appears that at least German, Dutch and French use "email" for "enamel" and several other languages use words similar to "email". Wrs1864 (talk) 22:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I've re-added the sentence about the French word (with a reference). Whether it's actually worth mentioning is another matter - but it is indeed true. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:47, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks. I just ran it through a couple translators and it didn't work so I assumed it wasn't true. The sources mention more than show that didn't work though :) Nick Garvey (talk) 13:38, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I just checked. In the three languages I mentioned above, if you go to their "email" article (fr:email, de:email, nl:email), they all have links to their equivalent electronic mail articles. So, if speakers of other languages already recognize that "email" may not be referring to "enamel", I really question the uncited claim now in the article that "The hyphenated spelling helps to eliminate confusion". And, no, a link to a language translation web page doesn't back up the claim that it will eliminate confusion. Wrs1864 (talk) 14:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The reference is specifically for the translation, not the claim that using the hyphenated form helps eliminate confusion (the edit summary deleting this expressed doubt about the translation). On the other hand, isn't it basically self-evident that using the hyphenated form would help eliminate confusion? If you're saying you want a reference for the confusion claim I suppose there's probably something out there somewhere. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:48, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't think it is self-evident that using a hyphen makes any significant difference, after all, the French word isn't "email", it is "émail", there already is a little line. Languages already have words with one spelling with vastly different meanings, such as "port" (wine, side of ship, opening, reprogramming for another computer system, etc.). And here we are talking about using one word in one language to reduce confusion to someone speaking another language? And whatever tiny degree of confusion this may cause for a speaker of one language should have any influence over another language? Sorry, I'm having a hard time taking this seriously, but if you can find a reference showing significant confusion caused by the lack of a hyphen, I'd be interested. Wrs1864 (talk) 19:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Without looking too hard, perhaps [9], or [10]? I'd expect this to be an issue primarily in multi-lingual areas, perhaps Quebec. BTW - I don't really care very much about this and I note recommends email (no hyphen), see [11]. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:50, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
the FAQ isn't a reliable source, it is just a periodic posting to a newsgroup and it just relays second-hand opinions on a small-sample survey of one mailing list. The other source (Michael Quinion) at least appears to be an expert opinion from a reliable source. Contrary to the original claim added to this article, Quinion's concern was for english speakers who recognized the french word (and really, about the over use of "e-"). Both of those sources, however, are from the mid to late 90s, I suspect that any confusion when the internet was first spreading to popular culture has long since passed. Wrs1864 (talk) 13:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I am the person who made the initial edit regarding email / enamel.

I agree that the issue of the spelling is not necessarily of primary importance in the article, and that it could be deleted in its entirety without great loss to the article as a whole. I added my edit, however, because there is a lack of balance in the article as it stands. The article lists an anti-"e-mail" opinion regarding the spelling of that term, but it does not cite a pro-"e-mail" opinion. I endeavored to provide a pro-"e-mail" opinion, as well as a reason for it, to balance the article, and that is all.

So, I don't really care whether you "take it seriously", and I have to wonder who you are (or who you think you are) to make these sorts of unilateral decisions about the article's content. If you advocate the "email" spelling, and do not wish to allow opposing points of view, then at least be honest and admit that fact. Otherwise, be consistent and delete the pro-"email" spelling opinion from the article, as well. That's called "balance".

I should add that really do not care much about this matter, however, since the article itself is sensibly titled "E-Mail".

Pernoctus (talk) 20:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Addendum: See the following from the Web page of Dr. G. Jay Christensen, professor at California State University, Northridge:

{copyrighted text deleted... Wrs1864 (talk) }

Source: .

Note, by the way, that email, referring to a process used with porcelain, is also an English word. I thought that this fact would be so obvious that it would not require indicating it to the erudite likes of Wrs1864, but it seems I was mistaken. The Oxford English Dictionary also classifies email as a colloquial abbreviation for electronic mail. The OED does not offer the same qualifier in its entry for the word e-mail. I have added these last two sentences, with modifications, to the main article, in another attempt to provide balance.

Pernoctus (talk) 21:07, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I see that the authority of the OED is insufficient for someone here. Let me repeat: It is a violation of the principle of balance to have a comment that is in favor of one form of the spelling, and not to have one that is in favor of another. So, I have deleted the pro-"email" spelling comment. I shall continue to do so until either there are no comments whatsoever regarding the preferred spelling, or until there is balance of pro and con. Pernoctus (talk) 17:29, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

As a developer in the days before the web and even before the internet, we used eMail, which I and long-time developers still use today. This was consistent with eCommerce, eBanking, and, if anyone remembers, eWorld. Developers use it one way and the lay public tends to hyphenate it. Would anyone object if I include eMail with the other spellings?
--UnicornTapestry (talk) 10:27, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
In the absence of response, I included eMail as an early spelling. In doing so, I discovered that the RFCs mentioned actually support the usage of eMail rather than email. (Occurring at the beginning of a sentence or heading, two examples show EMail.)
Everything else remains intact.
--UnicornTapestry (talk) 11:11, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Requested moves

The following archived discussion has been copied from WP:RM where an incomplete move request was filed and failed to be completed within 5 days.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Correction to match the terminology E-mail. — Κaiba 00:02, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Email bankruptcyE-mail bankruptcy
    • Email MailboxE-mail Mailbox
    • Email forwardingE-mail forwarding
      • User:Kaiba has been moving several email related articles to "e-mail". The most appropriate spelling is a matter of debate, so I think these moves are controversial. I couldn't find an explicit guideline on about this at WP:SPELLING. I think it should be debated there before mass-moving pages. Sam Staton (talk) 09:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
        • The article about e-mail is titled E-mail, how is that disputable? — Κaiba 11:06, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
          • From E-mail#Spelling: "Spelling of this term is disputed". My understanding is that consistency between article titles is not grounds for a page move. Sam Staton (talk) 11:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
            • That means spelling of the term is disputed 'world-wide', not 'on Wikipedia'. Both are valid, yes, but when the main article is titled one spelling, usually all the categories and articles related are moved accordingly. I suggest you look at Category:E-mail and look at the category naming prevaling as e-mail, and look at all the article names (excluding ones that I renamed), and see how many are titled e-mail as compared to email. — Κaiba 12:00, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
              • Consistency If the main article is at "e-mail" then all subsequent related articles should be spelled "e-mail" as well. There's no justification for having two separate spellings of the same term and it's not something that you would expect in a professional encyclopedia. -Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 20:55, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
                • Thanks, but I do believe your indentation makes it seem like you were replying to me, and not Sam Staton. — Κaiba 21:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Should be consistent: E-mail. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 18:15, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:MOS talks about "consistency within articles", there's no mention of "consistency between articles". See orange (colour) versus color; or coequalizer versus equaliser (mathematics). If you want to make one spelling official, you should probably discuss at WP:SPELLING. (Here is not the right place to discuss moves, anyway.) Sam Staton (talk) 20:56, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
You do realize two things, one MOS is a guideline, not policy and two that you are the only one supporting this spelling, right? — Κaiba 01:04, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope you also realize that this isn't a british/english spelling difference like both of your examples above. — Κaiba 07:56, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify: I don't personally prefer one spelling over another. I moved the request here because it is controversial and needs to go through the proper process. It is controversial because the moves would be tantamount to enforcing that "e-mail is the official spelling across wikipedia", and such a statement does not reflect the status of the outside world (for instance, OED prefers the spelling "email"; this is all discussed at e-mail). I believe that wikipedia should accept all variations of English, whether they are national variations or not. In any case, it is a controversial request, so if you want to go ahead, it needs to go through the proper process, so that we can have a proper debate in the right place (not here), and solicit the opinions of people who watch various related pages etc. Sam Staton (talk) 14:40, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
One of three moves performed, with the mover citing consistancy. — Κaiba 23:15, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
The second word of E-mail Mailbox should be lowercase, like the others. The way, the truth, and the light (talk) 00:23, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The Fall of E-Mail (talk) 11:23, 4 May 2008 (UTC): In the UK, e-mail usage must be falling amongst teenagers, who just seem to chat through Bebo, MySpace, and MSN now - the only reason they have a webmail account, apart from the very occasional few lines, is so they can register on these sites. I was just wondering if anybody had read anything about this, so it can be mentioned in the usage section.

splitting out the spelling section

The "email" vs "e-mail" section keeps growing and getting hacked back. I'm personally on the side of keeping it short, this article is already way too long, however, it does appear that there is a lot of interest in the subject.

I've added a "split section" tag on it to see what others think. The older sections that got hacked back could probably be restored and used as the basis for the article. Wrs1864 (talk) 13:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

This is far too minor and fiddly of a topic to merit its own article. --FOo (talk) 18:45, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
It would be wrong to have an article that turned into a debating forum. I'm not sure it is worth saying more than the two sentences that are now there. However, I don't think this section belongs at the beginning of this article. I propose to move these two sentences to WP:MOSS. What do you think? Sam Staton (talk) 09:33, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that a debate forum would be bad, but I don't think it that would be what it would turn out to be. Even with the very abbreviated section takes up 2k bytes, it accounts for 13 out of the 38 references the article has, and apparently it doesn't include such definitive references as the OED. I guess I've seen similar articles, such as Spelling of disc and Internet capitalization conventions and I figured we could cut the section out entirely by saying at the beginning of the article "Electronic mail, often abbreviated to e-mail, email or simply mail (see spelling of electronic mail)" and that would likely keep all the discussion out of this article. I don't see any problem finding reliable sources that show that the spelling "controversy" is notable. Wrs1864 (talk) 22:41, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the split tag. Getting hacked about is not a justification fro splitting. The section is only a stub so it does not need its own article. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 02:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

'Spam' mention removed from introduction.

If anyone disagrees, add it right back. (talk) 02:21, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Can anybody give any usefull information on how to fully complete setting up an email address, I met a girl that i really like. Ya I know this has nothing to do with wikipedia and its articles what so ever, but any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED-- (talk) 22:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Anyone trying to help would need to know more information. You obviously have an internet connection, so do you want help setting up your email through them, or are you looking to set up a web email account like hotmail, yahoo, etc. ? I will try to help if you want to leave a message at my talk page, and since you are listed at an IP address .. you'll have to check back at that page for any answers. Also... the Village Pump, and the Reference Desk / computers would be able to provide more information. Ched (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Donald Knuth

The reference made to Donalds web page did not correctly cite it's context. The word "email" has, in some European languages the meaning "enamel". This is what Donald refers to in his article on the cited page. Not what the text read "... UK and Europe" JanEnEm (talk) 20:48, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

After 180 days in the U.S., email messages lose their status as a protected communication

How about a 'legal' section? is information such as this (below)already included in the article? :

After 180 days in the U.S., email messages lose their status as a protected communication under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and become just another database record. This means that a subpoena instead of a warrant is all that's needed to force email providers such as Google to produce a copy. Other countries may even lack this basic protection, and Google's databases are distributed all over the world. Since the Patriot Act was passed, it's unclear whether this ECPA protection is worth much anymore in the U.S., or whether it even applies to email that originates from non-citizens in other countries.Nunamiut (talk) 18:05, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Concept versus modern (RFC/SMTP)?

Those coming to this page might reasonably expect to see descriptions of either: (a) - Various types of email and the history of the concept (b) - Current "internet email" ....but the current page is an uncomforatble mix of the two. I've added in a few thing recently, and would like to do more. Initially I think I'll just throw everything in here, but I think some splitting, disambigs etc weill be sooon needed... Thoughts?Snori (talk) 05:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Remember that email comfortably predates the internet. It might be useful -- or at least respectful of history -- to note at the top of the article something along the lines of "This article is about internet email, rather than any of the various email systems which preceded it, and which it has effectively completely replaced. For a brief discussion of these, see the history section below". NormanGray (talk) 19:25, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

colorful crushed glass melted onto metal

Use the hyphen or I'll throw you into my kiln!

Sign your posts or I'll do the same. Klopek007 (talk) 17:56, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

E-mail spelling & US Government section

Hi, I noticed that different article titles use "Email", and others use "E-mail". Why don't they all use the same one? Right now, this seems pretty illogical! Also the U.S. Government section makes the article biased towards the United States instead of having it on an international front. Kevinmon (talk) 23:04, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Message Handling Service

Is this really a proper redirect? Is a message handling service a separate entity or not? This issue should be clarified in a simple manner rather than redirecting from Mail Delivery Agent without any appropriate inline explanation. - KitchM (talk) 21:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Revisiting the article title issue

Currently the article is entitled 'e-mail', but uses the full name 'electronic mail' as a lead-in term. The officially mandated form in the Internet standards body (IETF) is 'email', however, and there is still no unanimous support elsewhere for either form of abbreviation. Other email related articles on WP, use either abbreviation, but the tendency seems to have been to converge toward the use of 'email'. To avoid the issue altogether, I think this article would best be entitled by the fully spelled-out form, 'electronic mail', which may be viewed as the encompassing term, of which 'email', i.e. Internet (IETF) mail, and other forms may be examples. Kbrose (talk) 18:26, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

See that mail has been accessed in Korea

Hmm, I'm not sure how to ref. this. It is standard knowledge in Korea, but I can't find any discussion (I don't read Korean well enough to search Korean sources). How-ever, thess articles (; how it works, so maybe the reference to Korea can be removed and a general statement about the possibility put in. In addition, MSN Outlook has such a device ( Kdammers (talk) 11:37, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

There are several issues:
Please correct the statement about "Korean e-mail systems", or it will be deleted. --EagleEye96 (talk) 18:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

general spelling of this article

Some edits have been made with -ize vs -ise

Unless the British English version of this wiki is online the American English version of spelling should be used.

--Johnny Bin (talk) 14:54, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Capitalizing the article title

Hi there, I don't want to get into the whole "e-mail" vs "email" discussion, honestly :) but I was wondering why the article title is in lowercase? As far as I know, when using the hyphenated version there's no real necessity to keep the e in lowercase. At least it's not something that I've ever heard of in the years that I've worked as a computer programmer. (talk) 11:50, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

You're right. Changed. C Teng(talk) 01:21, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Attribution/attributed text

For the decades that I have used email, it surprised me the big change email was brought which isn't covered in this article is how text attribution has changed messaging/messages with the ability to attempt to completely reference prior text (either via indentation or the '>' sign). Discussion can always go on until someone gets caught with a prior line which perhaps contradicts current writing. In Usenet one result is the alt.cascade group which thrives on its indentation. But more subtle changes happen in English and other languages which don't appear to caught academic notice (languages or psychology). (talk) 18:28, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move. Jafeluv (talk) 03:30, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

E-mailEmail — This has been discussed a few times before, but there was never any formal proposal, and it seems like generally email is more accepted than e-mail, according to both the previous discussions and the article itself. The term started off as "e-mail", which was initially a term coined to shorten "electronic email". Then later, it changed to "email" as it entered everyday speech, since it was understood that it was pronounced "ee-mail" and not "eh-mail", for instance. Terms drop hyphens all the time once they become common; this one is no exception. "E-mail" just seems so archaic now. Gary King (talk · scripts) 19:28, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Support A quick Google search seems to support this move. Email gets 4,950,000,000 hits, but only 1,390,000,000 for E-mail. Skinsmoke (talk) 21:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Agree that times have changed since the term was first coined. --DAJF (talk) 01:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Use of the term seems more widespread as shown above. ALK (Talk) 16:30, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
    • Comment. There needs to be, at least, an alternate "also known as e-mail" in the first line of this article, as well as the "history" section. I oppose the move in the first place, as the hyphen reminds the reader that the "e" stands for "electonic."Ryoung122 08:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be what the redirect is for? VQuakr (talk) 15:43, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Good to see that the title has finally been decided on. Shouldn't the rest of the article now conform? The hyphenated and non-hyphenated versions are used interchangeably throughout the article, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. A quick "ctrl+f" search shows that "email" occurs 67 times on this article, and "e-mail" occurs 154 times. The secion headings are all still "e-mail". Now that the title is "Email" then all other mentions should be non-hyphenated, correct? The obvious exception is the section that discusses the various spellings. Klopek007 (talk) 17:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you guys really that confident in this terminology? There are still many occurences of e-mail in this article and in the titles of other articles. --Kvng (talk) 15:32, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

I see that since this matter was debated in 2008 human stupidity, as usual, has prevailed, and the article title was changed to "Email", without the hyphen. Not that it matters, or will do any good, but see the following, from the Web page of Dr. G. Jay Christensen, professor at California State University, Northridge:

"[B]ecause of the preponderance of newspaper and dictionary usage, I would use the hyphen in e-mail. You should also check the 11th edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary to find that e-mail is still hyphenated".

[Consult the source, linked below, for Dr. Christensen's examples.]

Source: (talk) 23:08, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Technically, email is a completely different word; it's an old word for putting on armor (pronounced e mail). But email is also a common spelling; I've no opinion on the long-closed move request, but it's worth pointing out the word email has a completely different meaning and origin from the subject of the article. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

More data on "email" vs "e-mail": Providers and client software

I just spent a few minutes looking at the home pages of various popular mail providers and programs to see which spelling they used: "e-mail" or "email". I found something curious:

Yahoo! Mail is billed as "The best web-based email". Gmail aka Google Mail is "A Google approach to email". AOL Mail offers a "Free email address from AOL Mail". asks if you "Want a free email account?" In contrast, MSN Hotmail is "Powerful free e-mail with security from Microsoft".

In client software, is described as "All your email accounts in one place." Mozilla Thunderbird offers to "Organize Your Email." The home page for Eudora refers to "Email Security". But Microsoft Outlook offers to "Manage all your e-mail accounts in one place."

Over in mail security, Barracuda Networks calls itself the "Worldwide leader in email and Web security". Google's Postini lets you "Keep your current email infrastructure and add email security and archiving services".

So, in this extraordinarily brief sampling, it appears that Microsoft is the only major provider that uses the "e-mail" spelling: Yahoo, Google, AOL, Apple, Mozilla, Qualcomm, and Barracuda all use "email". Isn't that odd? --FOo (talk) 07:23, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Adding a few to my above list: Ubuntu Linux documentation describes how to "Send and receive emails" [12]. The popular Unix mail clients pine and mutt, respectively, call themselves "Program for Internet News & Email" and "The Mutt E-Mail Client" -- thus making mutt the only non-Microsoft mail software I've found that uses "e-mail". --FOo (talk) 06:09, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Just edited FA:“Mother and Child Reunion (Degrassi: The Next Generation)” to change "e-mail" to "email" not because of any particular preference (my pref. is actually typically "e-mail", "E-mail" to begin a sentence, but occasionally "e-Mail" / "E-Mail") but changed because "e-mail" (keyboard hyphen) improperly wraps as either "e-
mail" or even "e
-mail"; I initially changed to en-dash (–) format "e–mail" and I even use the − format "e−mail" to prevent wrapping issues, but another editor had a problem with that and undid that change to revert back to use of hyphen, which again created the wrapping issue.  On investigation, I then discovered this Talk page which would (particularly along with the name of the article "email"), appear to indicate a Wikipedia consensus that the proper spelling is "email".  — Who R you? (talk) 19:39, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
See {{nowrap}}. Nageh (talk) 20:17, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Cool, thx; doesn't change the fact that there seems to be consensus for "email"; but no doubt {{nowrap}}'ll prove useful elsewhere; thx again. — Who R you? (talk) 21:18, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

SVG Drawing

There appears to be something wrong with the SVG diagram on this page. It is not scaling correctly, as the imbedded image is not clear. Either it is a problem with the original image, or perhaps the rendering in the wiki. It appears correctly when selected and viewed separately. - KitchM (talk) 20:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Same here. At maximum resolution, the diagram turns into 3x3 blocks instead of continuing to be curves. Ndanielm (talk) 22:25, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

How e-mail works Not entirely sure which image you're referring to; both look fine for me at everything from 25% to 400% (Win7/IE8.0.7601.17514)  It might be helpful if you could upload a screen shot of what you're seeing and post a link here (and/or perhaps at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)).  (Please include what OS/Brower brand/version you're using.) — Who R you? Talk 22:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)


Time reference

I must tell you that note 24 is not correctly referenced. The Time Magazine article has an author, and it is not on page 48. I suppose the correct reference must be Lev Grossman, “Wave New World”, Time Magazine, vol. 174, October 19, 2009, p. 38.

Henrique1955 (talk) 12:42, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Component of Email

what are the components of email? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:28, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

éthere a man butcher over at georges house — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

filing system

how many ways of filing do we have at large? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

42 -- (talk) 21:38, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

"email" is a mass noun? I think not

I question the statement of "email" being a mass noun in US English. While it is common to say "I am reading my email" (mass noun), it is rare to say "I have deleted 20 MB of email" (also mass noun). A more common statement would be "I deleted 200 emails" (count noun). Also, "Every email (count noun) in my inbox is spam," "There are several emails (count noun) I need to reply to." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it is very common for email to be used as a mass noun, in my experience.Jasper Deng (talk) 23:57, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

new front material: Shiva/EMAIL

The new material in the first paragraph explaining the history of EMAIL (sic) may be relevant, but is not important enough to be in the introductory paragraph. The first paragraph should explain, in simple terms, what email is, not its historical origins. The EMAIL system appears in appropriate place in the Origin section, which might be expanded a little, but it looks to be COI for Shiva to thrust such detail into the opening paragraph. Ridcully Jack (talk) 00:09, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Another problem is I'm not seeing any evidence that EMAIL is notable. The only sources I can find are primary (i.e., written by the author), or other articles (in not-so-notable sources) using the author's source. Then there's the COI issue of the editor who is "not relenting on this." OhNoitsJamie Talk 15:20, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Pure COI - the references to Shiva's EMAIL products are interviews with Shiva. No doubt excellent products at good prices but not notable, merely PR. Devon Sean McCullough (talk) 22:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

§6.2 Use > In Business needs clarification

“LAN based email is also an emerging form of usage for business. It not only allows the business user to download mail when offline, it also allows the small business user to have multiple users' email IDs with just one email connection.”

This part needs to be changed or clarified by someone familiar with the subject because I don't know what the heck it means. Does it mean internal business e-mail sent via a LAN or a central mail server on a LAN via which both internal and external e-mails are sent and recieved? Also the advantages stated need clarification and I'm not convinced they're unique to 'LAN based' e-mail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

In Spanish

This English article discusses the Spanish words for "email"

WhisperToMe (talk) 15:30, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Washington Post article on "inventor of email"

found items which have not been incorporated but might help content

  • Kolawole, Emi (17 February 2012), "V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian", The Washington Post, retrieved 19 February 2012 
    --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 19:42, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • This source is just wrong. This guy didn't invent email, as a quick glance at the Email wikipedia page will reveal. People were doing email in 1965 at MIT on CTSS, about when Ayyadurai was born; this guy showed up 13 years later in 1978 with the idea of an email program, spent 3 years implementing it, filed a copyright on his code in 1981, and now claims to have invented email? The Smithsonian and the Post got taken in (and posted an update saying "A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978", though they did not correct the body of the text, nor the headline.) Early versions of email happened in many places and times, so perhaps we can add this guy as a latecoming implementation (though the source doesn't even say what computer or OS it ran on, nor whether it was a host-based or network-based email system). His own web site puffs him as "the inventor of email" when it's clearly inaccurate. I myself was using APL Mailbox in 1974, ARPAnet email in 1980, and Unix email in 1981. Perhaps we need a section for "False claims about the invention of email"? Or perhaps we should just ignore him. -- Gnuish (talk) 05:04, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Someone added a new section on "email management" that references Ayyadurai's claim. Someone else shrunk that section to a short mention among other networked email systems. I removed it from that section since a 2-node network that never went anywhere else, that was created a decade after ARPAnet email, isn't notable. All the other networked email systems in that section (uucp, bitnet, FidoNet) connected hundreds or thousands of machines owned and run by different people. For example, the APL Mailbox from 1972 (mentioned in the host-based email section) was later extended to a 2-node network (between two IBM mainframe computers in the same machine room), but that development wasn't notable either, so has never been inserted into the article. -- Gnuish (talk) 07:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
        • As much as it pains me, I have to point out that Wikipedia is not about truth, it is about verifiability and "reliable" sources. So saying that a source was removed because it is wrong when the source is "reliable" goes against a major tenet of Wikipedia development ... or so I personally believe. Glad to have others refute or support that notion. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 11:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
          • Bullshit.
Verifiability never trumps truth. Sometimes we cannot verify, so we cannot make any statement, even when we "know it to be true". If we had no sources, we might have to delete this entire article on email, as it would have no verifiability whatsoever. We would probably use email to discuss this deletion, but we'd still (if there were indeed no sources) have to delete it, even in such an oxymoronic situation.
On the other hand, there is no requirement to include an untrue statement simply because one source claims it. This is a rare case for a generally reliable source such as the Washington Post, but it's still just a newspaper, it's not a technical newspaper, and there is a clear campaign at present for Shiva Ayyadurai to self-publicise his claimed invention. Washington Post, and Wikipedia (repeatedly) appear to have been falling for this.
There is very clear evidence, with sourcing entirely as good as, if not better than, the Washington Post, that email pre-dates Ayyadurai's claim. No doubt he did develop such a system (In 1982 I did one too, as part of a student project). Even his use of "cc:" and "bcc:" header fields has been claimed to be influential on RFC822, yet RFC733 of 1977 clearly pre-dates even this use (and I'd not be surprised to hear of earlier systems). This whole claim is a sham: it tells plain lies, it confuses patents and copyrights, and it's rife with WP sockpuppet accounts re-adding these claims. We need no part of it here, no matter how much the Washington Post fell for it. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Simply put, we have a greater length and breadth of verifiable sources at odds with this claim. I know that 1965 came before 1978, and anyone who says something used in the former was invented in the latter is wrong. I hate to disagree with Andy, but Verifiability always trumps truth (see: WP:But it's true). But that's not the situation we have here, we have Veribiability being trumped by a greater amount of verifiability. Achowat (talk) 15:33, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
No, verifiability never trumps truth. It does trump our ability to make any statement, but that's not the same thing.
We can't add statements "because we know them to be true", but nor are we required to add statements that we know to be false, just because a supposed RS has claimed them. Of that which we cannot know, we must remain silent. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:50, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I was the one who added a section on the history of email management. Here is my take on the issue.
First, he did NOT invent email, period. Also his claim on To: and Cc: was wrong. As mentioned in many RFCs prior to his email system, there had already been established specification on the header information. So that part is totally wrong and should not be included.
Second, the fact about the two-location (not just two nodes) network email system is not notable enough to be included in the email networks section.
Third, the real contribution to the origin of email systems was that his system called EMAIL (all capitals) was the first database-driven email management system (all early email systems were file based and did not have features like departmental email lists, user privilege, etc). It was a significant development at the time. The system was used by hundreds of users in a real-world healthcare institution and he received a notable national award for it (Westinghouse's). I think we should restore that section as a separate section from Email networks.
Forth, he came up with the word EMAIL. At that time nobody used the word email. It had been called electronic mails, network mails, messages, mails, or text messages. The first use of the word email (of various spellings) in any literatures according to the US Copyright Office was by his registration (I searched copyright database to confirm). Most dictionaries put the word origin of email as in 1982, the year of his registration to the copyright office. After all, I think he is the legitimate inventor of the word EMAIL, but not the inventor of email. I do not see anyone disputes that fact after all this hype except some complains that he used the wrong spelling (all capitals). I think the information about the word EMAIL deserves to be included in the Spellings section.
So what do you think?Z22 (talk) 23:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry but even this is simply not true. I can't prove it at this distance but I worked for a company that sold an email program called EMAIL (in both the US and UK) on networked Prime minicomputers in 1981. I'm sure of the date because I left them at the end of that year and went to work for Prime Computer. And we didn't even think the name was anything ground-breaking back then so I am quite sure that others had used it before us. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

An opinion piece in the Washington Post

Dave Crocker (20 March 2012), "A history of e-mail: Collaboration, innovation and the birth of a system", The Washington Post, retrieved 22 March 2012  --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 03:22, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Nomination of Shiva Ayyadurai for deletion

Resolved: E-mail related article was kept.

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Shiva Ayyadurai is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Shiva Ayyadurai until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on good quality evidence, and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion template from the top of the article..


Disregard: Not relevant to improving this article.

Email is called electronic communication,because of its speed and broadcasting ability.It is fundamentally different from paper-based communication. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

And your point is???? Cresix (talk) 00:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

No, I think you'll find it's called electronic communication because it uses electronics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Host-based systems

In the process of updating Host-based mail systems to include IBM's Administrative Terrminal System (ATS), I realized that while CTSS is earlier than ATS, the cited date for e-mail in CTSS is later than ATS. What's the best way to deal with that? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 20:27, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

I noted a citation tag for the two ATS list entries. Is a reference to one manual each sufficient? I can find manuals on bit savers, but they're not all first editions. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 20:04, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Sure - the usual: title, publisher, page number, date of publication, perhaps a short quote indicating the type of information which supports the given statement if the document is obscure or hard to obtain. WP:V gives some hints TEDickey (talk) 00:56, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Someone deleted it, claiming that it didn't contain the information claimed. I've reinstated it with a page number, but the manual only has one paragraph on e-mail. I'm wondering whether to cite IBM, 1440/1460 Administrative Terminal System (1440-CX-07X and 1460-CX-08X) Terminal Operator's Manual (pdf), Second Edition, IBM, pp. 40–41, H20-0185-1. 

Other precursors to modern email

Shouldn't the article mention the torn paper tape systems of the 1950's and 1960's? What about AUTODIN? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Worth discussing, at least for AUTODIN. Not so sure about paper tape systems. Then again, at least two entire books have been written about a) telegraphy and b) vacuum-tubing message container systems (as used at bank drive-throughs and in the film Brazil) as precursors of e-mail and the Internet, so an entire but concise section on all this stuff, in chronological order, is feasible. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 16:09, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Operation overview

Using the term 'ISP' in the 'Operation overview' section seems strange to me. ISPs are neither the only nor the best email providers. So ESP, for email service provider, would be a better term. (I'm, though, not familiar enough with the subject and therefore prefer not to edit the page myself.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)


I think more clearly and earlier on in the article emails should be defined, in addition to the methods of sending them, when the concept was invented etc. What qualifies as an email? Do email adresses have to be involved? Do they have to be conpletely transferred electronically? Those kinds of specifics. Readers may just want to know exactly what an email is, not when they were invented and know technology makes it possible etc.

- the 24. of February 2013  — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:C440:20:1116:95E5:AB0C:E8D:2C1E (talk) 22:29, 24 February 2013 (UTC) 

Example Domain Names

RFC2606 names should be used for the examples in this article instead of,, etc. As per the RFC names such as and have been set aside for documentation purposes. Please note that and are actually domain names that can be assigned to a person or organisation so using them in examples is not a good idea.

I suggest and instead of and be used here.

--Pajamian (talk) 20:20, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Delivery delays

Internet e-mail is normally store-and-forward, so that delivery to different recipients may occur at different times. The normal message flow is

Each of these steps may involve queuing delays.

Note: the titles of several wiki articles are not consistent with the nomenclature in RFC 5598, which uses the word message rather than mail in several acronyms.

Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 19:52, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

The online spelling of the words email

I was taught in grammar school by Loretta Tracy in Des Moines, Iowa that words like email with an obvious abbreviation like email meaning electronic mail should be spelled E. mail. What do all of you think of this? I will go along with the majority online and spell it email for now though. (talk) 15:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I've never seen it as E. Mail, but I've seen both email and e-mail quite frequently. Personally I prefer e-mail Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 22:07, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Chatul, I have never seen it spelled 'E.mail', only email or e-mail. Zalunardo8 (talk) 13:44, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Correct meaning of "CC" and "BCC"

CC means "copies", not "carbon copies". It is the plural of C for copy. The same logic is commonly seen in the abbreviation pp for "pages", and in other abbreviations of long usage like MSS, ss, and so on. See BCC similarly means "blind copies". Note that this is the usage in RFC 2821 -- See section 7.2 for example. Pivotrock (talk) 01:37, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

No. It's nice logic, but the history and overwhelming usage don't support you. You've managed to find one instance where bcc is glossed as "blind copies", but ignored the fact that right back to the granddaddy of all email RFCs, in 1977 the "carbon" meaning is used, and this is continues in rfc822, rfc2822, and rfc5322. The original source of course is from typing, where the 1983 book "Typing, complete course" explains on page 23 "A BLIND CARBON COPY (BCC) NOTATION When you do not want the addressee to know that a carbon copy is being sent to someone else..." Snori (talk) 18:03, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Email in 1962 on the IBM 1440? Surely you're joking, Mr. Chatul.

(I moved this discussion from User talk:Chatul#Email_in_1962_on_the_IBM_1440.3F_Surely_you.27re_joking.2C_Mr._Chatul. at his (good) suggestion. Gnuish (talk) 07:39, 29 May 2013 (UTC))

I'm not sure what it is about email that encourages people to present overreaching claims to have invented it. There's a guy at MIT who has made a career of it!

Well, I never claimed to have invented it, or even to have used the first e-mail system. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk)

I removed the 1962 reference in Email because the cited document (IBM H20-0129-1) did not support the allegation.

It did; read the beginnning of Email, where it says "Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging.". Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

You reinstated it, citing a page number, and chastizing me for "deleting references without reading them". I had read the document, and found no reference at all to email. Rather than start an edit war, please tell me what content on page 10 of that document supports your allegation that the IBM 1440 Administrative Terminal System supported email? The closest I can see is:

 Any terminal may transmit its working storage to any other terminal
 and as many messages as desired to the same terminal.  Since the
 system does not poll, the receiving terminal must request that messages
 be transmitted to it. The computer attracts the receiving terminal
 operator's attention by typing the word (MSG) the first time that
 terminal is used after a message has been directed to it.

This is not email. This is, at best, squirting a file to a terminal. Many older systems had a way to send a message to another logged-in user's terminal. That's different than sending an email to a user (which works whether or not they are logged in, for example, and doesn't need to know what terminal the user is logging in on). Do you have any other text from that page that you think supports your claim of ATS offering email service?

See above. Also note that the messages are queued, not simply written to the destination terminal. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

If not, I believe the claim that the IBM 1440 in 1962 had an email system is false.

It's true for email as defined in the introduction to Email . Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

A separate question is whether the IBM 360 version of ATS included an email function. I did not remove that 1968 entry from Email because I did not have access to the document cited. But if you do have access, and all it offers is the same "send a document to a terminal" function, then please remove that entry from Email too.

Not that it's relevant, but ATS on DOS and OS supported queuing messages to an operator rather than to a terminal. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

PS: I used an IBM 1401 extensively in 1970-71, and used many IBM 370's throughout the 1970s, both at the console and through timesharing at terminals.

By then I had stopped using the 1401 and had been doing systems programming on the S/360 for several years. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Did you have personal experience with ATS? Gnuish (talk) 02:56, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I used ATS under DOS/360; I installed and maintained ATS under OS/360.
PS: Doesn't this discussion belong in talk:Email? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Late Telegraphy, or early Email?

Let's discuss this idea from the intro that "Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging." I have not figured out where that sentence came from. But it is unsourced, and it does seem to produce a lot of people suggesting "early email systems" that do not seem at all like what people think of as email today. I think they are out of place in an article that's about email-as-we-know-it. And I think that sentence should be removed, to discourage further miscategorization.

Perhaps these early telephony, fax, and teletype-like systems should be consolidated into a history section of an article like Digital Message Transmission or something like that. The closest I found is Data transmission but that focuses on lower level protocols, not the transmission of human-oriented "messages". Aha! The right place is probably Telegraphy which covers everything between wigwag flags to the Internet, with a particular focus on Morse Teletypes and Telex message switching. It looks like the 1960's "email" systems being described were actually minor improvements on the existing Telex system for sending "telegrams" from one printing teletype machine to another.

Gnuish (talk) 08:09, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Email History

I understand that this talk page is not a forum. If an editor wants to delete it, please go ahead but realize that I am trying to add discussion information that is relevant to the article's content and this is the only way I know how. I have reviewed Wikipedia's talk page guidelines and, absent any further information, I believe this material complies.

My concern has to do with the history of e-mail. In the mid 1960s, Bell Telephone Laboratories and AT&T worked on a system called #1ESS ADF (Arranged with Data Features). That system was put in use for a period of time by the Long Lines Department of AT&T.

In short, the system had the following aspects:

  • Mnemonic addressing
  • Addressing to Group
  • Delivery of a message to a Teletype terminal (see below) when that terminal was idle, but stored and delivered later if a terminal was busy
  • Message formatting using headers for addressing and text areas for message payload.

There was a key difference: the system required a Teletype (probably a registered trademark) terminal. Limitation to a few terminal types is not found in modern email system but I believe one could argue that early email systems also had certain terminal type limitations.

The system received a US Patent (3,403,383 to Kienzle et al) which was entitled Integrated Analog Digital Switching System with Modular Message Store and Forward Facilities. The patent issued in 1968 and was filed in May 1964.

Again, someone stated that this is not a forum page. If my comments here need to be deleted, so be it. But please be gentle and, at least, explain why this material should not be considered and discussed. Ultimately, I would like to add some of this material to the History section of this email article.

Morganstein (talk) 23:16, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

This talk page is a fine place to discuss this.
#1ESS ADF may have been an early email system, though it sounds more like a way to send messages in realtime to terminals, as opposed to people. I.e. both more of a "chat" program, and one based on sending to the address of a Teletype, not the address of a recipient. Could a recipient do anything with a message except read it on the paper that happened to be sitting in their Teletype when it arrived (like save a copy, or forward it)? Generally, even the earliest email arrived as something more like a computer file than a piece of paper.
Do you have any good sources that discuss this system? To include it in the article you'll need a reliable source. Patents, like this one, are generally written to be unreadable and thus don't make great sources. See the patent with text like "Data is transferred from the Central Processor 100 to the digital message equipment by way of Call Store Write Data Bus 455 and data is transferred to Central Processor 100 by way of Call Store Response Bus 454". It doesn't seem to say much about email! Gnuish (talk) 07:20, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks to the Wikipedians for agreeing to discuss this subject on this talk page. As to the comment that e-mail somehow breeds claims of invention (see below: "I'm not sure what it is about email that encourages people to present overreaching claims to have invented it.") my reason for this discussion is not to claim invention but to inform the discussions in the popular media which do attribute (correctly or incorrectly) invention of e-mail.

Gnuish, you are right that the patent to which I referred (3,403,383) is difficult to read. Nonetheless, it is reliable because it is well documented as to time and function. On the other hand, I reread the patent and it discloses very little about the high level functions of the Kienzle system. It does teach elemental operations because how computers could be used to provide voice and message communications, receive data, store data, operate under stored program control with read only and writable memories was very new in the 1960s. Consequently, my post about high level features of the system is, alas, undocumented.

The #1ESS-ADF to which I referred was very well documented in other material, including the Bell System Technical Journal[1] . There may also be other contemporaneous materials. Morganstein (talk) 16:11, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Based on the comments made by Gnuish, it seems that the objections to considering the #1ESS ADF as an email precursor can be mooted. I was able to retrieve the documentation of the system from the Bell System Technical Journal (BSTJ).

As to the primary objection, " sounds more like a way to send messages in realtime to terminals, as opposed to people." The #1ESS ADF (hereinafter "ADF") system was a "store and forward" system. That is documented in the BSTJ article's abstract [2] . Additionally, the BSTJ article says, "Store and forward techniques allow messages for a given destination to be queued." BSTJ op. cit. page 2733

Other features of the ADF system include:

  • "Simultaneous transmittal to several destinations" BSTJ op. cit. page 2733
  • "Mnemonic [not telephone numbers nor physical addresses] addresses and group codes for routing" BSTJ op. cit. page 2734
  • Automatic "Time and date insertion in message heading" BSTJ op. cit. page 2734
  • Permanent storage and message retrieval after initial delivery "Message retrieval by identification of message number, time, and date" BSTJ op. cit. page 2734
  • Multiple levels of priority for message delivery; "Precendence" BSTJ op. cit. page 2734
  • Rerouting of messages (Alternate Delivery "all messages addressed to one station will be rerouted to a different specified station.") BSTJ op. cit. page 2750. While this is not the same as message forwarding common in email systems, forwarding could be achieved by message retrieval. A clumsy workaround; but, is message forwarding a necessary condition for a system to be considered an email system?

I would like to leave this subject up on this talk page for some more time to elicit comments. If there isn't a strong refutation that the #1ESS ADF system was an early email system, I would like to move some of this system description to the main email Wikipedia page.

Morganstein (talk) 18:56, 2 June 2013 (UTC)


Ewin, J. C. and Giloth, Paul, "No. 1 ESS ADF: System Organization and Objectives", Bell System Technical Journal, December 1970; pp 2733 - 2752 Morganstein (talk) 19:07, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Confusion between MIME and SMTP re attacchments

E-mail attachments are part of MIME and have nothing to do with SMTP. From the perspective of SMTP, a message is just a string of ASCII octets, with CRLF at the end of each line and with a null line between the header and the body. Even the Internet Message Format does not define attachments, but simply refers to the MIME RFCs. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 17:35, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

name: k.vasanthamma, add: shareen nagar, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Italic texthallo brother i am manku bhe good eardwaj ihave good feling so ihope you good feilling my dear seema bhardwaj mai janta huon tumkahahhhhhhhhhhho — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

DaVinci Email

Recently, I have added DaVinci Systems which was one of the earliest LAN-based email systems developed in the 1980s. Repeatedly, Wikipedia editors who are not familiar with technology history in the United States or were too young at the time to have familiarity with it, have deleted the entry of DaVinci to this article... Can anyone else please corroborate the existence of DaVinci email so that this lack of knowledge is not continually perpetuated? I would appreciate it. Steve. Stevenmitchell (talk) 03:27, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm unfamiliar with DaVinci Systems e-mail software and I'm rather familiar with technology history in the United States. I'm familiar enough to have used Elm to read e-mail until Pine was released and know how to bang path around the planet manually just for fun. But then, there were quite a few LAN products that fell by the wayside when WAN communications finally reached the masses. If you want to add such a claim, please provide citations to support the claim, lest the uncited claim be reverted.Wzrd1 (talk) 05:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Corroboration by other editors is basically useless for the purposes of adding Davinci to the list. You must find reliable sources that prove what you are claiming and that Davinci was notable. --NeilN talk to me 05:32, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

The email product I am talking of is not free-ware or share-ware, it was a professionally developed product that disappeared somewhere in the mid-1990s as the technology monopoly coalesced into only one-size-fits-all products. It was a simple addition to the article, but I will not re-add the inclusion since the price I have to pay is to write an article. So, then am I to surmise that all of the other information in Wikipedia is supported by research? I do hope that you are kidding about that. But I do wonder why my inclusion is being negated when, I am fairly certain that if I read just this article alone, I would find half of it unsupported or the points very clearly misrepresented and distorted in the coherence of their explanation. So what you are in essence saying is, unless some knowledge has been reported in a published place, it - regardless of personal experience and awareness - does not exist? Is that correct, or am I misunderstanding something? Stevenmitchell (talk) 07:31, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

That's the guidelines for Wikipedia, which your talk page suggests you might have read: WP:Notability, WP:RS, WP:OR, and WP:NPA TEDickey (talk) 07:58, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Not that it wouldn't exist, just that it wouldn't be notable enough to have an entire page on Wikipedia. — Reatlas (talk) 08:15, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
(talk), as I noted a couple of paragraphs above, I understand why bracketed inclusion should not occur, but to not mention it all, considering it was one of the leading products of the late 1980s (pre-WWW so there will not be any available internet articles on it even for possible inclusion), and certainly was equal to CCMail and LANtastic in its usage and recognition, seems to seriously skew any information in this article at all. Aren't half truths just as misleading as lies? Don't they cause just as deep misperceptions? LANTastic which was a LAN OS is listed in this article erroneously as an email product and yet DaVinci which used to get rave reviews from technology magazines is not even mentioned. Since the Internet no longer has effective search tools (unless you believe Google's database is somehow competent as a one-size-fits-all tool) to locate these reviews, and in fact, they may never have been preserved, I am not going to spend hours upon hours hours (this back and forth has already cost me 3 or 4 hours) to locate information that pointedly states that DaVinci was a comparable product (despite the frequent mentions in an internet search - but no devoted article) but to have it included in an article as a "mention" should not require those kinds of standards. Most of Wikipedia's articles are an opinion without any citeable support. If we delete all of Wikipedia that has not citations for support it will be a very slight encyclopedia, would it not? In fact, many articles have no references at all. Do we delete those articles? Stevenmitchell (talk) 09:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
As you said, "Aren't half truths just as misleading as lies?" And this is exactly why WP:V, WP:RS and WP:N exist. You complain about the inaccuracy of the article, yet you suggest we do away with asking for references? You don't need to find a dedicated article; if there is a mention of it on a page about a different product, that might still be able to show WP:Notability. And even if there is absolutely no trace of such a system online, WP:OFFLINE sources (such as the magazines you mentioned) are perfectly usable. An unsourced paragraph or statement could just be tagged with a [citation needed] if it was plausible and informative, but adding a single link to the page provides zero information to a reader. — Reatlas (talk) 10:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Wasn't cc:Mail the 800 lb gorilla in that era? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 19:00, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I guess the commenters have missed my point in its entirety. And yes, to user Chatul, cc:Mail was the 800 lb gorilla for DOS-based systems. DaVinci was (according to Microsoft's website and other venture capitalists online) the 1st Windows-based product...
But my point, which has been ignored throughout this, is that if something in Wikipedia does not have a citation, it is supposed to be challenged by a citation template [citation needed], is not? Or is Wikipedia simply a dictatorship led by the most aggressive people that invite themselves to use it? To my understanding, proper procedure which was not done here, is to post a citation template. Am I wrong about this? Stevenmitchell (talk) 18:08, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
That's misdirected: if there's no strong likelihood that there's a WP:RS, editors can simply remove the material. Otherwise, topics get cluttered with unverifiable comments TEDickey (talk) 18:03, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
So much for the capabilities of contemporary collaborative technologies (more of a throw back than a step forward), since while you were making your comment & I was adding info. to my statement, my additions have been lost from the dialogue, due to an editing conflict... Part of my point is, I know of its validity and notability (which only pertains to article inclusions) because I was there - and I am probably more experienced and more knowledgeable about technology certainly than most contributors to Wikipedia and certainly within the realm of this discussion; if not for any other reason than the mere fact that none of the participants in this discussion - which by ordinary standards of discussion would disqualify most people from participating (in something that they do not know anything about)... An actual simple search would have enabled "contributors" (if I may be so kind) to verify its validity. But Wikipedia has many lazy contributors as well. Unfortunately, for the world many ignorant and illiterate people have a lot of power... Simply by being more aggressive... Stevenmitchell (talk) 18:12, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
It's ironic you comment about laziness and simple searches when you think it's going to take you, someone who supposedly has expertise in the area, "...hours upon hours... to locate information that pointedly states that DaVinci was a comparable product..." Also, commenting about illiterateness while constructing the sentence structures above was probably not wise. Regardless, perhaps Wikipedia standards are too high for you, with its refusal to accept, "Because I say so," from essentially anonymous contributors. --NeilN talk to me 19:24, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Considering how many contributors to Wikipedia are coders, network and system engineers and similar, your claim of ignorance on technology rather falls flat. I date back to using UUCP and NNTP for messaging. Others also date back to those days, when what was the internet was conducted on unix shell accounts. Again, "because I was there and say so" is not a reliable citation, any more than my claim that I was part of the first Great Earth dirt delivery project would be valid (yes, I actually make that joke, illustrating that though I'm not older than rocks, I most certainly am older than dirt). Bitching and griping, complaining of ignorance and dismissal makes few wish to help you find citations for your claim.Wzrd1 (talk) 20:54, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

MSA nomenclature issue

The text "uses the Submission Protocol (a profile of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), see RFC 6409)" is confusing, given that RFC 6409 (Message Submission for Mail) contains neither the term profile nor the term Submission Protocol. For that matter, RFC 5321 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) also does not contain profile and does not use Submission Protocol as a proper noun. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 22:47, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Protocol version numbers?

A recent edit by User:Martinkunev changed IMAP4 to IMAP, while leaving POP3 as is. Both protocols are normally referred to with version numbers, and the full title of RFC 3501 is INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION 4rev1. Is there a wiki style convention requiring dropping the version number? Is there any reason that I shouldn't revert the change? Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 20:04, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

I made the change because in my experience POP3 is always mentioned with the version number while IMAP is usually just IMAP. So I thought it would be better to use the popular naming conventions for the two protocols. I am not aware if there's an official policy about such issue. I just thought it would be clearer that way but I'm okay if my change is reverted. Martinkunev (talk) 21:46, 6 November 2013 (UTC)


hey guys , don't we have to mention the founder of email(VA SIVA AYYADURAI) ? i would be a honor to speak about him ? please improve this article.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:28, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Ayyadurai did not found anything. Per Shiva Ayyadurai - The Washington Post also followed up with a correction on its report of the Smithsonian acquisition:

A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai as the inventor of electronic messaging. This version has been corrected. The previous, online version of this story also incorrectly cited Ayyadurai’s invention as containing, “The lines of code that produced the first ‘bcc,’ ‘cc,’ ‘to’ and ‘from’ fields.” These features were outlined in earlier documentation separate from Ayyadurai’s work. The original headline also erroneously implied that Ayyadurai had been “honored by [the] Smithsonian” as the “inventor of email.” Dr. Ayyadurai was not honored for inventing electronic messaging. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History incorporated the paperwork documenting the creation of his program into their collection. A previous version also incorrectly stated that had Ayyadurai “pursued a patent, it could have significantly stunted the technology’s growth even as it had the potential to make him incredibly wealthy.” At the time, patents were not awarded for the creation of software.

--NeilN talk to me 05:39, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

what cant i do with this email..........? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:31, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 25 May 2014

Differentiating "electronic mail" from "email", the term that only appeared after 1978.

Dear Friends, I think given the post-Smithsonian events, its clear that there is now clear set of references, starting in 1978 on the origin and meaning of the term "email" versus the general term "electronic mail" which referred broadly to all different forms of the exchange of text messages, dating back to Morse code, and transmission of documents e.g. faxes. I would like to post some important few sentences clarifying this and some detailed references. Any advice on this?--TVleck1971 (talk) 05:32, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

As a tertiary source, Wikipedia is based on sources. What sources do you propose using, and what are your thoughts on sources already in the article, citing emails from 1971? Can you provide a contemporary source that uses the term "electronic mail" in reference to Morse code? VQuakr (talk) 07:48, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
The existing sources do not support the distinction between "electronic mail" and "email". Perhaps he has some radically new source in mind which has not been considered. Lacking that, it's original research TEDickey (talk) 14:21, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Dear VQuakr, The sources were posted before by someone in the Spelling section. In fact 11-sources on the first citation of email were posted, and it was removed arbitrarily with personal attacks on Shiva Ayyadurai --- which I believe is not part of the Talk etiquette as I understand. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with him. I was wanting to post in the main section on the distinction between "electronic mail" and "email", pre-1978 and post 1978. There are citations,that after the Smithsonian events, have come to the public that email, as a term did first come into modern english use after the developments at UMDNJ in 1978. These citations are not original research. My intention was to give references that the terms "electronic mail" and "electronic messaging" up until 1978 were used interchangeably to refer to the broad and generic concepts of exchanging "electronic" documents or messages. Second, this was to be contrasted with the first use, coining and in fact creation of the term "email" as Noam Chomsky and several dictionaries have already confirmed, occurred after 1978. In the Spelling section those citations existed. And, when I was loading my content relative to "electronic mail", an editor removed mine, and the well documented first citation of "email" in the Spelling section.

So, I think that the Spelling section reference (see below), should go back in, and then I will post back on this talk page the citations and references on the confusion pre-1978 of term "electronic mail" and "electronic messaging" as they were used interchangeably, before I repost to avoid edit warring. This is what was in the Spelling section. That should go back.

The first known use of the term “email”, upper case or lower case, was in 1978 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to name a computer program which was the first full-scale electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, as confirmed by noted linguist Noam Chomsky and further substantiated by dictionaries, which also concur that only after 1978 did the term come into use.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] TVleck1971 (talk) 14:38, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Also, Dear VQuakr, to your direct question, I do have three sources which show that there was always a confusion on what "electronic mail" meant and also in reference to the Morse telegraph. TVleck1971 (talk) 14:58, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

The dictionary entries are unrelated to this discussion, do not in any way support your comments. TEDickey (talk) 15:04, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

They are not unrelated unless there is a commitment arbitrarily to deny the fact that the term "email" did not exist prior to 1978. All dictionaries including the eminent OED place the date at 1979 after the UMDNJ work and the Merriam Webster place the date at 1982, the year in which the UMDNJ work called "email" received the first US Copyright. Noam Chomsky, the most noted linguist in the world, has further confirmed this fact in multiple citations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TVleck1971 (talkcontribs) 15:35, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Dear VQuakr, Another sockpuppet investigation was just opened up on me AFTER I started this talk page. The first one was when I did my first edit on the Main Page. I followed etiquette and went to talk. Now, after I posted the above items, another "investigation". It appears to me that someone is against my bringing up facts and I would like to know how call for an investigation on this matter. Please advise.

Best, TV TVleck1971 (talk) 17:44, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

None of your comments establish a causal relationship among the facts. So far, you're proceeding solidly as original research. TEDickey (talk) 17:52, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
By the way, while we are as polite as possible, your assertion of 35-years etc has no validity in a talk page discussion because there is no way to verify those statements. What does count is reliable sources which can be verified by others. Keeping on track in the discussion is appreciated TEDickey (talk) 18:03, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Similarly, the nice things that you say about your chosen sources detract from the discussion. Again, providing reliable sources is a more productive way of carrying on the discussion than compliments which you provide by yourself TEDickey (talk) 18:18, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

TEDickey: None of your comments above address the facts of why you deleted the earlier reference concomitant during my new posting of relevant citations.

Do you have a problem with the content below? Or do we need to escalate this up to higher levels of editors?

The first known use of the term “email”, upper case or lower case, was in 1978 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to name a computer program which was the first full-scale electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, as confirmed by noted linguist Noam Chomsky and further substantiated by dictionaries, which also concur that only after 1978 did the term come into use.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] — Preceding unsigned comment added by TVleck1971 (talkcontribs) 21:37, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

The term email did not exist before 1978. This is not original research but citations.

@TVleck1971: you may not be aware that this is not the first time similar edits have been proposed here (see the archives for examples). Indeed, Ayyadurai has himself, in the past, attempted to perform similar edits to the extent that the on-Wikipedia discussion has been picked up by third parties, ie [13]. I do not have a particularly strong opinion in the spirit of your edits, though the very long section you attempted to add last time is much too long for the lede and probably too long for even the article body. I along with (I suspect) other editors, find the distinction between "email" and "electronic mail" quite artificial and unconvincing - this is not a dictionary, so we care much less about etymology than we do about the practical aspect (ie inter-machine messaging and using "@" to separate username and host - both features implemented in the early 1970's). In the event that consensus does emerge to include a relatively short paragraph similar to the above, please choose the best two sources, as twelve is massive overcitation. VQuakr (talk) 22:25, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
This is not etymological but a point of fact. The term "email" first came into existence in 1978 to define a system --- the interoffice mail system in electronic format --- the entire system --- Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Address Book, Attachments, etc. and the many processes: Composing, Forwarding, etc. First, this is a fact and giving citations for that fact must be allowed. Omitting, deleting arguing against this raises some important questions on why this is not being allowed.
Things prior to that were called text messaging or the exchange of text messages, because they were not "email" --- the system we all use today. Chomsky revealed the document that clearly stated prior to 1978, written by Crocker himself, in December of 1977, that there was no intention to replicate such a system. Regardless of any differences, the statements of fact with citations, being deleted sounds suspicious. Per your advice, I will formulate very factual statements with citations. TV TVleck1971 (talk) 00:11, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Please be careful about hypothesizing about the motivations of other editors. Before 1978, they were called "electronic mail". Email is just an abbreviation. Many of the features you describe existed in the early 1970's as well. VQuakr (talk) 03:25, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Email IS NOT the abbreviation for "electronic mail". The term never appears prior to 1978. A factual point, that is an important one and purposely ignored so ARPANET, BBN, can conflate their work in simple methods of exchanging text messages to EQUAL email, which came afterwards. This is not a subtle point, but the core of what Chomsky showed not by original research but by pointing to the DECEMBER 1977 RAND REPORT, written by Crocker himself, which summarized the state of the art in electronic messaging prior to 1978. MA Padlipsky who wrote over 20 RFCs was very critical of the BBN guys calling them self promotional and attempting to take credit for stuff they did not do.
"Indeed", as you say, Crocker, ARPANET, et. al's conflation of their contributions, in the past,has been picked up by third parties, ie [14]. After Chomsky's exposition of Crocker's own admission in the seminal December 1977 RAND Report, that there was no intention to create email --- the system we all know and use today, there has been an aversion to discussion the facts. Regardless of any differences, the statements of fact with citations, being deleted sounds suspicious. Per your advice, I will formulate a factual statement on this point with citations. And, knee-jerk reactions as what took place to call Ayyadurai self promotional are frankly biased and the vitriol that took place was racist. After the Wired Article the BBN and ARPANET gang led by Crocker ran away knowing that they were exposed. I also want to make a clear point that 7 days after the Feb. 16, 2012 Smithsonian event, BBN and other ARPANET alumni were involved in the creation of the InternetHallofFame, which then recognized Ray Tomlinson as the "King of Email", etc. Who is self-promotional? I think we need to get back on the factual statements of the first citation of "email" and the the fact prior to 1978, the term "electronic mail" was very unclear. That is all.
I will propose statements and if there is not an open-mindedness on this issue, then we will need to escalate to other senior editors. TV TVleck1971 (talk) 04:15, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Email IS NOT the abbreviation for "electronic mail". The term never appears prior to 1978. Your first sentence is at odds with our own article, Wiktionary, and Merriam Webster. You are unlikely to be taken seriously if you challenge such basic and verifiable information. I am not clear on which term you say "never appears prior to 1978." You may wish to read WP:GREATWRONGS and WP:BATTLE. VQuakr (talk) 07:26, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ewin, J. C.; Giloth (December 1970). "Paul". Bell System Technical Journal 10: 2733 – 2752. 
  2. ^ Ewin, J. C.; Giloth, Paul (December 1970). "No. 1 ESS ADF: System Organization and Objectives". Bell System Technical Journal 49 (10). 
  3. ^ Jackson, Joab. "Noam Chomsky disputes email history". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Garling, Caleb. "Who Invented Email? Just Ask … Noam Chomsky". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Acosta, Rocky. "VA Shiva Ayyadurai Email Source Code 1978". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Email Dispute". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Blagdon, Jeff. "Noam Chomsky weighs in on Ayyadurai's email invention claim". The Verge. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  8. ^ AskOxford Language Query team. "What is the correct way to spell 'e' words such as 'email', 'ecommerce', 'egovernment'?". FAQ. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2009. We recommend email, as this is now by far the most common form 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  10. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2006
  11. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
  12. ^ Princeton University WordNet 3.0
  13. ^ The American Heritage Science Dictionary, 2002
  14. ^ "Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 

Dubious EN-US/EN-GB distinction in Spelling section

There is also some variety in the plural form of the term. In U.S. English, email is used as a mass noun (like the term mail for items sent through the postal system), but in British English, it is more commonly used as a count noun with the plural emails.[citation needed]

This is, as far as I can tell, not accurate. While "email" is almost always a count noun in British English, a strong preference for the count noun form also exists in US English.[1] Absent a citation to back up the claim, I have removed it and left it here in the event that the reference the author had in mind (or some other suitable reference) should come to light. (talk) 19:41, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Currency of RFC references?

At what point should references to new RFC's replace references to old ones? For some period of time the software deployed will reflect the older standard, but I believe that RFC 5321 and 5322 are old enough to be considered relevant. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 18:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

inventor of email (sic)

A recent edit selected sources to "prove" the inventor of email. Wikipedia requires that sources are given to present consensus of WP:RS, rather than a single/promotional viewpoint TEDickey (talk) 10:56, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Essentially, that's one source given. The Shiva Ayyadurai topic, by the way has a long history of self-promotional edits by its subject using various aliases. TEDickey (talk) 14:07, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I just reverted a large change to the lead that made similar changes to advance this position, [15] pushing a specific definition of what an interoffice mail system supposedly is, etc. It included refs to the Huffington Post and "". (The latter being used to push a misleading quote and related text.) IRW0 (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Ayyadurai (or his sock puppets) taking credit for inventing email would be like Bill Joy (who developed the unix ex and vi programs) trying to take credit for ALL text editors (which as far as I know, Joy has never attempted). Ayyaadurai only invented a Fortran program called EMAIL, which apparently was a little known and uninfluential e-mail system that re-invented a lot of existing email features, added a few unique features, but only ran on an non-networked, non-gatewayed, small cluster of computers at a school somewhere in NJ. At that time (1978) the rest of the world already had various e-mail systems and were already actively creating standards for how to gateway and inter-connect them. The fact that 14-year-old Ayyaadurai was apparently unaware of all this prior art doesn't support his claim to have been the first to invent e-mail. (talk) 15:04, 31 August 2014 (UTC)