Technology words are developing quickly

An article in the February-March 2007 issue of Copy Editor newsletter discusses some of the rapidly evolving computer words, terms we use to discuss technology that are either not in dictionaries, yet, or for which spellings and usage rules continue to be debated. As examples, he mentions

title bar, menu bar, status bar, address bar
   (no capitalization or special attributes)
close button, maximize button
   (no boldface or special attributes)
scroll box, scroll bar, scroll arrow
screen window
dialog box
pop-up (as a noun or adjective)
online (one word, in all uses)
on-screen (still hyphenated, in all uses)
printout (as a noun); but, print out (as a verb)
log-in (as a noun); log in as a verb
sign in (as a verb; no noun form is
   currently recognized)
sign out (as a verb); sign-out (as a noun or adjective)

Of course, you probably care more about those two more hotly debated terms, e-mail versus email and Web site versus website. Well, in the article, author Charles M. Levine reveals why certain audiences prefer one over the other while introducing a few of the considerations in the debate between the spellings. Rest assured, though, e-mail and Web site are still the official spellings!

In a semi-relevant tangent, Levine discusses how style variances can be used to distinguish computer- and technology-related terms so that words and directions stand out from the surrounding running text. For example,

To cut text, highlight the text you wish to remove with the cursor.
Next, hold down the Ctrl key while selecting the X key (Ctrl+X) . . .

To cut text, highlight the text you wish to remove with the cursor.
Then, from the Edit menu, select Cut and . . .

Levine recommends the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications for justifying such decisions.