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May 18, 2007


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On Request

The Chicago manual of style says that 'emails' is permissible to use. Use of it in that form will always sound awful to me. I don't understand why it doesn't sound awkward and incorrect to more people. From my perspective, it should always be email. But then again, I don't know how to google anything ( I conduct a web search typically )


"Emails" will gradually become natural to your ear. It's just a matter of adjustment.

Good luck!

Earl Trussell

The editors of The Economist began using email as a Countable Noun(ie. has a plural form)almost ten years ago. Since then, I have been teaching it as such.


"Email" is short for "electronic mail". You don't say
"electronic mails". I don't say "I need to read my emails".

I do say, "email me".

Unfortunately, the sensible users are losing to the less sensible hoards.

Business Writing Blog

Hi, Glen. I try to avoid thinking of us writers as "sensible users" and "less sensible hoards." I would hate to find myself in the latter category.


Michael Lim

Unfortunately, popular usage always eventually wins out. Witness the use of:

- Practice instead of practise as a verb;
- Alternate in place of alternative.

The list goes on.


Business Writing Blog

Hi, Michael. I don't mind the evolution of language that accompanies people's new usages. To me, it keeps language fresh and apt.

Thanks for sharing your examples and view.


Miss Frances

Well, I always ask my corporate and univeristy students one question : Do you say "I have mail" or "I have mails"? "Mail" is an uncountable noun and that's why 'Email" should follow that root. But of course, as Lynn said, most companies, big or small, international or local, they tend to use "emails" as it is generally accepted in today's business world. So, I accept both 'email' and 'emails' from my students, too!

Business Writing Blog

Good idea, Miss Frances. It's helpful to follow the rules but bend them when it makes sense.



The fact that "emails" or "mails" is used in any form is absurdly stupid. You don't say "sheeps"! Or how about "loose" instead of the proper "lose".... Grrrr! I'm not a grammarian by any stretch of the imagination but this drives me insane!

Business Writing Blog

Hi David,

I hope you feel better now!


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