Word-a-Day: log in, login, and friends
- From: Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org>
- To: gnome-doc-list gnome org
- Subject: Word-a-Day: log in, login, and friends
- Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2008 12:45:16 -0500
A whole slew of closely related words today:
log in (v.)
Initiate a session on a computer. Use two words for the verb.
Write "log in to a computer", not "log into a computer". Do
not use "log on".
login (n., adj.)
The act of logging in to a computer, or something related to
logging in to a computer. Do not use "login" or "login name"
as a synonym for username. Do not use "logon".
log off, logoff
Do not use. Use "log out" and "logout" instead.
log on, logon
Do not use. Use "log in" and "login" instead.
log out (v.)
Terminate a session on a computer. Use two words for the verb.
Write "log out of a computer". Do not use "log off".
logout (n., adj.)
The act of logging out of a computer, or something related to
logging out of a computer. Do not use "logoff".
This is mostly congruent with our current recommendations. Apple
also uses "log in" and "log out". Microsoft uses "log on" and
"log off". It's pretty clear that "log in" is the more common
term in our community, and I prefer it anyway.
The current Style Guide says that you log in to and log out of
a session, but not a computer. I think that's overly pedantic
and doesn't capture common usage at all.
There is a question of whether "log out" should be allowed as
a transitive verb. This does not seem to be very common usage,
and it sounds rather funny. But we do use it as such in one
very prominent place: the "Log Out <username>" item in the
System menu. Should we just ignore this one case and let it
slide as a convenient abuse of language?
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