Spider Building

17 Jul, 2004 | WebTdpWritten Word

Note that this does not signify the end of the Odeon campaign, merely that this is a blog and I need to carry on. I'll keep you all informed of any developments in the Odeon arena, currently I'm still awaiting a response from them.

The web has introduced many new words and acronyms into common usage in many languages, web itself has had an addition to its meaning. Internet, URL (or URI if you prefer), HTML, Flash, browser, JavaScript, links and surf are all words that either didn't exist or have had additional meanings added to them and there are more besides. Most are reasonably easy to get to grips with (although I'm still not entirely sure whether JavaScript needs that capital S, or to have capitals at all), but one uncertainty still stands for most people. Seemingly easy, you would think, but is it web site or website?

Dictionary.com lists it both ways, and adds a note that website is gaining in popularity. The 'experts' at AskOxford.com say that, despite the 10th (2001) edition of the Oxford English Dictionary stating it as web site, it is now clear that the standard form is website, and
future dictionaries will reflect this.
The American Heritage Dictionary, agrees with this (and reads suspiciously like the Dictionary.com entry, or vice versa more likely). In fact, one of the few places I could find that preferred web site (well, Web site actually) was The University of Southern Maine, not exactly a giant in the field of word usage I believe.

Personally, I've consciously favoured web site a lot as I believed it to be the preferred wording (and it does have benefits from an SEO perspective if you're that way inclined), but I always thought website was better. It seems neater and the one word leaves no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation, where as either part of web site, when taken out of context, could have different meanings. Likewise, you could argue that someone searching for information may find spiders and building information in their results instead of an online resource if they're hunting using web site.

Has anyone else got any thoughts on it, or a reason for their preferred choice?

For those who may be interested, I just noticed that WarGames is being shown on ITV at 4:45 pm tomorrow (Sunday 18th July).