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Does "E-book" Have a Hyphen?

Troy K. wrote: "Kindles, Nooks, and headline hooks: Have you picked a side on 'e-book' versus 'eBook' versus 'ebook' versus 'electronic book' yet?"

By
Mignon Fogarty
2-minute read

 

E-book stands for "electronic book," the same way e-reader stands for "electronic reader" and e-mail stands for "electronic mail."

The AP Stylebook, the Buzzfeed Style Guide, The Economist Style Guide, and The Chicago Manual of Style all recommend hyphenating e-book, as well as most other “e” words such as e-reader and e-commerce.

It's conceivable that over time, e-book may lose its hyphen. Both the AP Stylebook and the Buzzfeed Style Guide already recommend spelling email without the hyphen. But for now, the hyphen in e-book is safe. Continue to include it. 

  • Authors were treated badly in the recent e-book dispute.
  • E-books currently make up two percent of my book sales.

The choice between e-book and ebook could be considered a style choice, but eBook is simply wrong. Brand names, such as iPad, sometimes use camel case (an internal capital letter), but in standard English such style is unacceptable for anything other than names.

Sources

“E-Expressions.” The Economist Style Guide, online. http://www.economist.com/style-guide/e-expressions (accessed March 12, 2015).

Favilla, E. and Paolone, M. “email.” Buzzfeed Style Guide, online. http://www.buzzfeed.com/emmyf/buzzfeed-style-guide (accessed March 12, 2015).

“e-book.” AP Stylebook, online. http://www.apstylebook.com/online/?do=entry&id=4914&src=AE (subscription required, accessed March 12, 2015).

multiple entries. The Chicago Manual of Style, online. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ (subscription required, accessed March 12, 2015).

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

 Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

E-book: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBook

E-book images courtesy of Wine Press Publishing

This post was originally published February 7, 2010. It was updated March 12, 2015.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.