Website DOT COM?

Question. Why do people, when writing online, have a habit of spelling out the “Dot com” portion of a URL? I know people might do it in order to break a link to a email address to confound email address spiders or to break a hyperlink to something NSFW, but why would they do it when referring to a common website in passing?

I see people on this MB type things like Yahoo dot com, ESPN dot com and Hotmail dot com and Amazon dot com. I see it on blogs and both electronic and paper publications as well. What’s the deal? Is there some logic behind this or are people being archaic of pedantic for some reason?

I do it so it won’t accidentally become a link in the email, assuming the purpose of mentioning the site isn’t to send someone there.

Some, but not all, email systems immediately put things in as a hyperlink unless you type them otherwise.

The same thing happens on a messageboard like vbulletin - if you include a URL, it will automatically parse it into an active link. Though you can turn that off for individual posts, it may be a habit for some people to spell it out.

So is there some presumption that having a hyperlink in your post is a bad thing?

In a related question it struck me recently how surprising it is that there isn’t some universal verbal shorthand for website names or is there? I generally hear people say, “Double u, double u, double u dot straightdope dot com.” Why hasn’t it morphed into something like, “Double u straightdope d c.” or “Double u mininova d o.”

I’ve sometimes taken to saying “triple-U”… perhaps that might morph into “Tripya” :stuck_out_tongue:


If each one is a double-U, then wouldn’t three of them be “sextuple-U”


True, but triple-U just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? :wink:


Well it’s not necessarily a bad thing but it can be a distraction especially for websites that removes content. If you meant to make a mention in passing that you read something on, then some readers might follow the auto hyperlink looking for the story that may no longer be there. Web comics are probably the best example of this that I that I can think of offhand.

Still seems like an anachronism because every automatic parser out there relies on the http:// and/or www. prefix in order to create a link. I’m pretty sure you are safe saying (versus Buy dot com) pretty much everywhere.

Two-part WAG: The first is that it isn’t shortened to just Double-U and D C because there’s still a lot of newbs out there who’d take that literally, resulting in them attempting to access w.straightdopedc. Further, there’s times when you do have to spell out parts of a URL, which could cause confusion. Just to pull an example out of the air,

The other part is that, at least for the D C part, dot com, dot org, etc. take no longer to say than D C.

Good point, I didn’t say it made perfect sense.

I spent a few weeks trying to convince people to use “trip-dub”, but it went nowhere. My impact on the world remains negligible.

I’ve heard, “Dub, Dub, Dub, dot *whatever *dot com” more than once.

I think it’s in the front of the pack for a future Webster’s dictionary entry.

Well, it’s mostly moot, as the “www” part of URLs is extraneous 99% of the time. And hell, half the browsers render “.com” useless, too. Type “straightdope” into the FF address bar and it brings you to “