What does "email" mean?


Quick Answer

Email stands for electronic mail, as it was designed to duplicate standard mail. It is sometimes spelled "e-mail," but this usage has fallen out of favor in most style guides.

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Full Answer

Early computer networks often implemented messaging systems to allow users to communicate with each other. The first message sent using the protocol modern email is based on a message sent in 1971 on ARPANET, which eventually evolved into the Internet. Its inventor was Ray Tomlin, who used "@" to determine the target computer for the message. He stated that he invented email "mostly because it seemed like a neat idea."

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