= E =
(also written `e-mail' and `E-mail')
1. n. Electronic mail automatically passed through computer
networks and/or via modems over common-carrier lines. Contrast
snail-mail, paper-net, voice-net. See network address. 2. vt. To send electronic mail.
Oddly enough, the word `emailed' is actually listed in the OED;
it means "embossed (with a raised pattern) or perh. arranged in a
net or open work". A use from 1480 is given. The word is probably
derived from French `émaillé' (enameled) and related to Old
French `emmailleüre' (network). A French correspondent tells
us that in modern French, `email' is a hard enamel obtained by
heating special paints in a furnace; an `emailleur' (no final e) is
a craftsman who makes email (he generally paints some objects
(like, say, jewelry) and cooks them in a furnace).
There are numerous spelling variants of this word. In Internet
traffic up to 1995, `email' predominates, `e-mail' runs a
not-too-distant second, and `E-mail' and `Email' are a distant
third and fourth.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.