As a professional, no matter what industry you belong to, you must have come across the term 'e-mail' or 'email'. While writing an email or a formal document, have you been confused about which spelling to use? Well, you are not alone. The two spellings of the same word have been used interchangeably for quite some time now, leading to confusion. In this article, we will discuss the correct usage of e-mails and emails and the reasons behind it.

E-mails vs Emails

The word 'e-mail' originated in the 1970s when the internet was still in its infancy. At that time, the word was hyphenated as 'e-mail' to differentiate it from traditional mail. However, as time passed, the hyphen became obsolete, and the word was written as 'email' or 'Email'. While 'email' is the most common spelling used today, some people still use 'Email' for formal documents.

According to the Associated Press Stylebook, the correct spelling of the word is 'email,' without the hyphen. Similarly, the Chicago Manual of Style, which is widely used by writers, editors, and publishers, also advocates the use of 'email' without the hyphen. The Oxford English Dictionary also recognizes 'email' as the correct spelling.

Why 'email' is Preferred Over 'e-mail'

The primary reason for the change in the spelling of the word is the evolution of technology. With the advancement of the internet and email services, the need for the hyphen to differentiate between the two types of mail became obsolete. Moreover, the hyphen made the word look outdated and cumbersome.

Another reason for the preference of 'email' over 'e-mail' is that it is easier to type and remember. The hyphen in 'e-mail' can be confusing, especially for non-native English speakers. Therefore, 'email' is more user-friendly and has become the standard usage over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it okay to use 'e-mail' for formal documents?

A. While 'email' is the most common spelling used today, 'e-mail' is still acceptable for formal documents. However, it is better to follow the guidelines of the Associated Press Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style and use 'email' without the hyphen.

Q. Can I use 'Email' instead of 'email' for formal documents?

A. 'Email' is the preferred spelling for formal documents as it is more user-friendly and easier to remember. However, if you want to use 'Email' for a formal document, it is acceptable.


In conclusion, the correct spelling of the word is '

email' without the hyphen. While 'e-mail' is still acceptable for formal documents, 'email' is the standard usage preferred by most style guides. The evolution of technology and user-friendliness are the primary reasons for the preference of 'email' over 'e-mail.' So, the next time you are confused about which spelling to use, remember to use 'email' without the hyphen.