Voice Mail or Voicemail? Which is Correct?
Should you write “voice mail” or “voicemail”?
VirtualPBX offers Voicemail in all its phone plans. Have we been grammatically incorrect this whole time?
We’re here to get to the bottom of the issue. Settle the score. Unravel the mystery. Dive into statistics. Read through the dictionary!
Sound exciting? Keep reading.
Searches for Voice Mail or Voicemail
At VirtualPBX, we keep informed about the types of web searches individuals complete.
For instance, our statistics show us that people search for the word “voicemail” as many as 70,000 times per month. We also know that searches for “voice mail” rank at about 6,500 per month.
What’s most interesting is that at least 100 searches per month try to discern which of the above phrases is correct. Is it “voice mail or voicemail?” they wonder.
Settling the Score
Our first stop, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, reveals that both “voicemail” and “voice mail” are correct. It cites the two-word version as the primary usage type (sorry 70,000 searchers!), but recognizes the single-word variant as common.
It also notes that the use of “voice-mail” could be correct when applied in an attributive manner, such as: “I make use of a voice-mail system.”
We get a much more succinct answer in our visit to the Oxford Dictionary. It simply refers to the single-word spelling before offering a brief definition:
“Voicemail… A centralized electronic system which can store messages from telephone callers.”
Taking a look at Grammarist, we found that using two words – voice mail – was likely more common when the technology was first created. Like many similar computer-based concepts, though, use of one word – voicemail – has risen in popularity.
Like the two-word web site transforming into website, we as a society have condensed voice mail into a simpler form.
Searches Reveal Popular Opinion
The search volume for “voicemail” clearly defines the transition from two words to one. Thousands more people seek to find a voicemail service than a voice mail service.
It’s also notable that searches for “voice mail or voicemail” prove popular. Those queries hold together the idea that the telecommunications industry and the public are still in a transition period with message storage software.
The capability of voicemail systems are changing. Alongside changes like the inclusion of email notifications as a standard option, we all see the altered spelling of these systems’ collective generic title.
We’re happy to be standing on the side of progress – both with our use of the term “voicemail” and our overall company ambitions. And we’re thrilled that our knowledge of spellng and grammer isn’t in question.