Saturday, March 8, 2008

Login vs. Log in

No one seems to have caught the small error in Your Corporate Learning Environment section on the right sidebar.

Login = Noun
Log in = Verb

I really wanted to use the verb to indicate that you need your network login ID to log in to the corporate wiki. Apologies for the error.


Anonymous said...

What about "logon" vs "log on"... It seems to be the same relationship, where "logon" is a noun and "log on" is a verb. But what is the differentiation between "login" and "logon"? Don't say there isn't one, because I'm sure there are many web designers who have an opinion on which meaning each word takes.

Matthew Nehrling on June 25, 2008 at 4:10 AM said...

We came to the exact same conclusion several years ago when developing an internal style guide. Unless a system button displays otherwise, we use Log On as the verb (or Log In, as in To Log Into) and Login as a Noun (as in Your Login name is...)

As for Log In versus Log On, that is really system dependent based on what the actual 'button' says. I find IT folks who build applications I write training for have no standard for those.

-Matthew Nehrling

Manish Mohan on June 25, 2008 at 10:34 AM said...

Interesting debate starting here. I found two links that discuss the difference between logon and login. Interestingly when you search "logon" in Google, it asks if I meant "login". Obviously Google doesn't like "logon". Could it be because MS Manual of Style refers to "logon" as an adjective?

See discussions here and here.

bhavana said...

"Logon" and "login," are the noun forms. "Log on" and "log in," are the verb forms. The usage depends largely on client preference and on what is going on the user interface. Ultimately, both may be correct in different contexts, but, as the Chicago Manual says, consistency is the key.

Bhavana :)

Anonymous said...

You've got a couple of competing perspectives here, including the neverending struggle between prescriptive and descriptive approaches to language use.

When I start working, am I in the system, or on the system? When I'm giving people directions to my house, do I live in a street, or on it?

(Come to think of it, here in the U.S. it's perfectly normal to live on A street, but quite unfortunate to live on THE street...)

More to the point, I'd say that whether you use logon or login, the prompt could be:

Log on with your ID. (You can request a logon ID from XYZ...)

To say "log on with your logon ID" is like saying, "the train will arrive on track number 7."

Seven is a number. "Number 7" is lot like the late George Carlin's rant:

"Hot water heater? Why the hell do I want to heat hot water?"

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