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One or two word(s): website or W(w)eb site?
Thread poster: drmab
English to French
Jan 26, 2004

I've been reviewing corporate standards for a Canadian cmopany (actually, I don't think it really matters that it's Canadian) where they state that "web site" is two words. Having been faced with this problem in a previous job, I thought I'd proposed the solution I came with last time, but wnated to be sure of my arguments before proceeding. So here it is:
Based on such pairs as "Black board" (a board which happens to be black) and "Blackboard" (which can be black, green, or some other colour), we can deduce that with one word the stress falls on the first syllable, with two on the second (actually, on the first syllable of the second word). In the example, "blackboard" stresses the "black", whereas "black board" stresses the "board".
Therefore, since the stress in "website" falls on "web", it must be one word.
Does this make sense?

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
Website or web site? Jan 26, 2004

Welcome drmab!

I started using the one word version about a year ago because of what the Oxford website says:

How should the term 'website' be written in official documents and on the web? Whoud it be website or web site, and should there be a capital W?

It always takes a little time for new words to settle to a standardized form. Even our most recent dictionary, the revised 10th edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, published in 2001, shows web site, but it is now clear that the standard form is website, and future dictionaries will reflect this.

We recommend capital initials for Internet, World Wide Web, the Web, but not for individual sites.

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
Member (2011)
+ ...
choosing between spelling variants Dec 27, 2005

I've provided some parallel examples of this in:

Issues in Multilingual Speech Technologies
summary: An article that describes the differences between written and spoken language which must be taken into account when developing a speech system to create functional and useful speech applications for real-users

By the time the term finally gets into the dictionary, it will be obsolete.

My advice is to you is to choose the variant that you feel is right for you, and then be consistent in its use in all of your texts. Some methods on researching how to choose the variant are in the article mentioned above.

Jeff Allen, Ph.D.
Paris, France

[Edited at 2006-02-14 23:21]

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