The nearly infinite flexibility of English makes the language universally useful and often confusing. Seeing the word for the first time, who would know how to pronounce “Arkansas?” Imagine that you had never heard “colonel,” “sword” or “Wednesday.” How would you say them? The peculiarities of English were challenging enough before computers. The digital revolution often explodes conventional usage.
In the pre-digital age, “nesting” might have had to do with birds or with human cohabitation, not HTML technique. “Hypertext” might have described a book by a writer high on amphetamines. “OOP” was a comic strip caveman; now, it’s object-oriented programming. “Schema,” the old Greek word adapted to English, used to refer to a plan or scheme. Now, it’s an XML document.
No piece of digital jargon is more common or less logical than “email.” When most written correspondence was through the post office, we sent a letter, not a “mail.” Yet, in the language of digital communication, we send “an email.” We email each other, making the noun a verb. Logically, it should be an email message or, simply, a message. But, what does logic have to do with how language changes? Maybe it’s best just to sit back and be amazed, or amused, at the way it evolves.