Time to give up?

‘Login’ is a noun (or sometimes and adjective). ‘Log in’ is the verb. Thus, ‘Click here to login’ is incorrect. (Backup is a similar story.)

I have, in the past, pointed this out to folks, but I think I’m going to give up. More and more major corporations with the resources to hire people who know what they’re doing are using ‘to login’. The one that hurts the most is not a major corporation, however, it’s Writing.com.

I tell myself that this is just the natural process of the evolution of the language, but in this particular case it bugs me beyond any rational explanation. I guess we all have our language peeves, and it’s time to let go of mine. Instead I’ll climb on my motor-cycle, go down to the base ball game and heckle the numpire.

9 thoughts on “Time to give up?

  1. Don’t give up!

    There is a difference between language evolving to improve its ability to express ideas or to keep up with changing technology or to overcome pseudo-rules put forth by errant (or arrant) pundits, such as the rule against split infinitives, and changes that are happening because people are too lazy to make the distinction between the different parts of speech.

    In this case, the choice of forming a word as one word, two words, or a hyphenated word makes a critical difference. There is an important distinction between the noun login and the verb log in. Likewise, there is an important distinction between the adjective everyday and the adverb every day. It is essential for my reader to make the distinction between my wearing my everyday shoes and my wearing my shoes every day.

    In these cases, as in many others, the function of the separate words is that the first word is an independent entity, carrying its own weight, and, where appropriate, taking any declination involved (e.g., we say “logging in,” not “loginning”). When the words are run together, they lose their independence from each other, and that changes their meaning.

    I do not consider the fight a lost cause. Many of my students arrive in my class with very little exposure to the written word, and so they have some difficulty with figuring out when to use separate words and when not, but when they understand the logic behind the issue, they catch on.

  2. ^
    CA’s analysis is always interesting. Plus, did you catch the big hullabaloo late last year when the OED (or somebody (perhaps, under CA’s wisdom, I should say some body)) threw out thousands of words that were hyphenated? They said something to the effect that nobody hyphenates anymore, so just run the words together.

  3. All right. With the ammo provided by my august sister, defender of the language (when defense is due), I am composing my next message to writing.com

    Although it is worth noting that Carol Anne defends the language on a primarily functional basis – after all, language is for sharing ideas, and clarity is certainly beneficial – but language evolution rarely has anything to do with increasing clarity, as far as I can tell.

  4. Where have all the hy-
    phens gone? Long time pa-as-sing.
    Long, long time ago.

    I fear that the disappearing spaces and dashes are just the tip of the iceberg. We may well live to see the OED approve “r” as an acceptable spelling of “are” (after all, r is a vowel in Czech) and “u” as an acceptable spelling of “you”.

    Never give up, never surrender, but never underestimate the power of laziness when applied to the written word.

  5. I dropped by writing.com today, and not only do they use login as a verb on their front page, they use signup. Holy crap, this is a place for writers?

  6. Also, it was not OED (a conservative bunch) that went on the wholesale hyphen-dropping spree, it was (I’m pretty sure) the American Heritage Dictionary, which likes to be cutting-edge. It has been noted in retrospect, however, that their revisions are pretty minor, and the resulting hullabaloo unwarranted.

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