Tech Talk

new terms and variations emerge rapidly. For the most part, we defer to the Associated Press Stylebook as our guide, but there are exceptions.

Frequently Used E-terms

dial up (verb) log out (verb)
dial-up (adjective) account logoff (noun)
email (no hyphen) logout (noun)
Internet (capital “I”) multimedia (one word, no hyphen)
intranet (lowercase “i”) Net (capital “N,” no apostrophe)
log in (verb) offline (one word, no hyphen)
login (noun) online (one word, no hyphen)

Log In

The preferred phrasal verb is “log in” — not “log on,” “log onto” or “log into.” Do not replace “in” with “on,” “into” or “onto.” Note that while it is natural to say one is “logged in” without an object, no one would ever say he or she was “logged into.”

Right: Students should log in to PAWS on a regular basis.
Right: I’m already logged in.
Wrong: Use your campus ID to log onto PAWS.
Wrong: Log into BrightSpace to submit your essay.

World Wide Web Addresses (URIs and URLs)

“URL,” the initialism for “universal resource locator,” is often incorrectly used as a synonym for any kind of address on the World Wide Web. However, to be a URL, the address must include the appropriate protocol (access mechanism or network location), such as hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), file transfer protocol (FTP) or lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP). A universal resource indicator (URI), on the other hand, is a broader term that includes Web addresses with or without the protocol. If you’re not specifying the protocol, don’t call an address a “URL.”


When referencing Web addresses in text, write only the root domain (such as “” or “”) and the appropriate path (if any). Omit the protocols “http” and “https” and the abbreviation for World Wide Web (“www”), and do not include a slash at the end of the address.

Note that if your address is hosted on an alternative subdomain (such as “www2” or “www3”), you should include it. When writing for the Web, consider hyperlinking a word or phrase instead of writing out the URI.


Web Words

Although references to the Web and Internet use an initial capital letter, these Web-based words use a lower case “w”:

webcast A live broadcast on the Web
webmaster The creator of a site
website A location on the Web
webzine Media of the Web and for the Web

Common Acronyms

Acronym Term Acronym Term
CC carbon copy (BCC – blind carbon copy) ISP Internet service provider
CD compact disc (plural – CDs) JPEG joint photographic experts group
dpi dots per inch (lower case, never spelled out) LAN local area network
EPS encapsulated postscript OOP object-oriented programming
FAQ frequently asked questions RAM random access memory
FPS frames per second ROM read-only memory
FTP file transfer protocol RSI repetitive strain injury
GIF graphic interchange format TCP/IP transmission control protocol/Internet protocol
GUI graphical user interface (plural – GUIs) TIFF tagged image file format
HTML hypertext markup language WAN wide area network
IP Internet protocol