Question of the Year 2008: What is the correct spelling of e-government and why?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 12 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #64325

    Dr D.C.Misra

    There appears to be a free for all field for spelling e-terms. E-government is one example. Any one can spell it any way and get away with it! It is being spelt as eGovernment, egovernment, eGov (cute, isn’t it? But what does it mean? eGovernment or eGovernance?), E-gov, etc., and, heavens forbid, electronic government. Which then is the correct spelling and why? Which spelling do you use and why? Is it not a high time that e-government which is more than a decade old has a standard spelling?

  • #64355

    Steve Ressler

    I like eGov. The rest feel very 90s to me. Generally the term feels out-dated – probably good for some rebranding now. Gov 2.0 is not a bad start although I’m up for other terms.

  • #64353

    Sarah Bourne

    Wikipedia has standardized on “e-Government” ( )

    I tend to use eGov (informal) or eGovernment (more formal) in writing at work.

    “Gov 2.0” to me means more interactive or social endeavors, where eGov encompasses all transactional activities, including paying taxes or the use of internal systems.

  • #64351

    Dr D.C.Misra

    Hi,Sarah. Thanks for your comments. Wikipedia, at best a group of self-appointed volunteers, cannot “standardize” a spelling. (Incidentally, its coverage of e-government is quite weak). Dictionaries do but then Merriam-Webster ( is silient on e-government (as it is yet to include it in its dictionary). Interestingly though it includes a number of e-words like e-mail, e-commerce, e-book and even e-tail and e-zine. Does it mean that e-government is yet to attain a status (in the eyes of lexicographers) to be included in a dictionary? What a pity!

    Dr D.C.Misra

  • #64349

    Dr D.C.Misra

    You will find the word being spelt in different ways even in the same organisation! This is what I meant by free for all.

    Dr D.C.Misra

  • #64347

    Denise Hill

    Will the term fade away in 2009? Will the term be placed in the archives? What term will be applicable in 2009 and beyond?

  • #64345

    Mark Danielson

    I’m with Ed. If I’m writing, it’s hyphenated. Don’t worry, the spelling will be decided in the future. I hope that it remains simply government.

  • #64343

    Katie P.

    I think the trend will be towards the simplest – so probably we will wind up with “egov” just like we now have “email” instead of e-mail, E-mail, E-Mail, etc. Currently we call it “eGov” informally and there are other longer variants with dashes and capitalizations used all within our team and our department!

  • #64341

    Dr D.C.Misra

    True. But it is taking too much of time. Many e-words have been quickly recognised. Dictionaries give recognition to a word and in the process also standadize its spelling. Is it not surprising that Webster has so far not recognized “e–government” ?

    Dr D.C.Misra

  • #64339

    Adriel Hampton

    I’ll weigh in on Wednesday, so get those answers in. As I former newspaper editor, I’m glad this is the judging contest I pulled!

  • #64337

    I would suggest following the standard of using ‘e-” ( “e” dash”) if referring to ‘electronic government’ to stay consistent with …say…electronic commerce (e-Commerce) or as one poster wrote electronic mail (e-mail) and so on. In terms of format, writing using the dash ensures the “e” attached to next word is not a typo.

    I’m currently researching social networking (social media) and government and have come across a lot of words that I’m trying to nail down clear definitions including: Government 2.0 (Gov 2.0), e-Government, e-Participation, e-Democracy, Politics 2.0 and so on. Maybe we can broaden this discussion to include defining these terms more clearly to provide our members (and beyond) good definitions created by those that are ‘in the know’.

  • #64335

    Robert Smudde

    I’m also in the eGov camp in my own informal writing. Although when responding to anything formally, I usually take the initiative to see how my audience is using it and follow their lead. Perhaps I’m just a conformist 🙂

  • #64333

    Adriel Hampton

    If the Dr is in, it is time to close this thread along with 2008 (which was actually a good year for me, go figure).

    Vicky is the winner, and perhaps Dr. Misra as well, since he used the correct spelling in his question headline.

    “e-government” – because of AP Style, because without a hyphen it may be a typo, because we don’t shorten words in proper usage, and because there is no justification for capitalizing the G. Also, Government 2.0 is indeed a different animal, referring to something other than the simple adoption of electronic tools by government.

    I believe that in the tradition of this forum thread, Vicky will judge the next contest. And having seen Dr Misra’s Internet quiz, I know there is plenty of fun in store. On to 2009!

  • #64331

    Dr D.C.Misra

    Hi, Adriel. You have done a geat job! Not have you given a sound verdict but also given reasons for it. So we settle at the answer: E-government at the beginning of a sentence and e-government otherwise. And thanks for passing the baton to Vickey.

    Congratulations, Vickey, for winning a tough contest. I will be posing the next question of the week in a new thread. So check the discussion and pilot it. As far as this thread is concerned, as Adriel says, it is closed.

    As a new year gift to members of e-government group, I will post my entire Cyber Quiz-1: The Internet on my blog. So check it in due course. (My advice: Don’t rush through it. Read one question at a time and think over it. And if you have teenagers in your family do pass it on to them. Of course, the same applies to your collegues too. After all it’s free. And I hope GovLoop does not treat it as spam).

    Happy new year and have a nice day.

    P.S. Adriel, if you think it is too personal a question, just ignore it with my apologies. Otherwise I would like to know: what does “Adriel” mean, who gave you this name and why?

  • #64329

    Adriel Hampton

    Dr Misra –

    Don’t mind at all. I like my name!

    It is Hebrew, and my parents picked it from a baby book. Adriel was a contemporary of King David in 1 Samuel in the Bible, although his story is decidedly less positive! I believe the end “el” means God, and the most common definition is “flock of God.” I have also seen it sourced as a Native American name, meaning “beaver.”

    Before the rise of the Web, I knew of only one other person with the name, an aerial photographer whose work often appears in National Geographic. Now I now there are many people with the name. Still, it’s rare enough that I was cited in an e-book of baby names.

    Thank you for the challenging quizes, and happy New Year to you!

  • #64327

    Dr D.C.Misra

    Thanks, Adriel, for educating me. It is nice to know that we are with a “flock of God.” If it is not off topic (OT), spirituality helps.

    Have a Very Happy New Year.

    Dr D.C. Misra

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