Monday, February 19, 2007

website or Web site

I have seen the word website written in many ways; website, web site, Web site. The last in the list is to me the most awkward way of writing it out, but the AP style book says that it is correct, is in fact the only way to write it properly, since the word web is an abbreviation for World Wide Web. Still, a lot of newspapers, like the New York Times, for example, do not write it this way. I understand this could just be the preference of the paper, but what do you think is best? What does Chicago say about web addresses? AP says the "http://" should always be included, but this looks so messy.
Also, how much fact-checking are copy editors expected to do? Names, dates, but what else? Where do you draw the line and query the author for more information?


Pat said...

Claire, please see Rebecca's post on research responsibilities. My comment on her post will probably answer your second question.

Pat said...

Sorry, Claire, I meant to respond much sooner than this to your questions about the Web.

I looked in the fifteenth edition of Chicago Manual and found that chapter 17 states that http should be included in web addresses. I also looked online for a computer dictionary and found the following at Webpoedia:

Web site A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site.

URL Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.

According to Webopedia, the two most common protocols are HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Because there is more than one kind of protocol, you must include http or ftp in Web addresses.

I have gotten files using FTP, but this has been quite rare. I can easily imagine, though, cases in which it is important to distinguish among the different protocols.

As for Web site, we write website in our office; and I suspect this is the most common way it is rendered.

Anyway, there are your answers. These are the current practices, and they could change the day after tomorrow, of course.