The Communications Factors: Online, On-Line, or On Line.
The debate between the correct use of Online, On-Line and On Line is perplexing, to say the least. In an earlier post, we started to shed some light onto this subject, but since that time, we have discovered what The AP Stylebook says on the issue.
on-line Hyphate the adjective form for the computer connection term; two words in other cases.
So the Reader’s Digest cover to which I refer is correct, under the authority of the AP Stylebook. Without doing any further research other than what was on the on-line, I assumed that Craig Battrick’s blog entry was correct since he cited the Chicago Manual of Style.
Here’s a suggestion. When you are writing on line, on paper, or on any other medium, use spacing and hyphens to tell readers you are using a newly minted modifier or that you are “pre-positioning” a noun.
I think the word “online” has become popularized when people started sending quick emails and text messages a dozen or more times a day. For phrases like be right back or business to business, there needed to be a “code,” if you will, indicating what was intended. An index of text messaging acronyms can be found here.
I think the debate about the “correct” form of on line/on-line/online will rage on, but it’s more important for you to remain consistant.
HBI (How ’bout it?)