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e-

Contributor(s): John Felicien Lorio, Jr

1) e- or E- (sometimes without the hyphen) is a prefix that has spread from e-mail to other forms of human enterprise as they emerge on the Internet . Well-known examples are e-commerce , e-business , e-tailing , and ezine . The e is a shortening of "electronic" and e-mail is still sometimes referred to as electronic mail. The sense of "electronic" in this usage generally had and has to do with telecommunications. Whatever it was you used to do before, now you can do it (send or receive it or have a transaction with others) electronically over a telecommunications line.

If the e- prefix denotes telecommunication, the cyber prefix denotes computing, although this often implicitly suggests network computing and telecommunication as well (as in cyberspace ). The lower-case i (for Internet) prefix, which is usually without the hyphen, has also gained currency as a prefix for a name that instantly associates it with the Internet.

2) At least one user reports colloquial usage of the e alone as a verb, especially as a short form for "to email." For example: "I'll e it to you later, baby."

This was last updated in April 2005

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