Log in/on/onto/etc

Subject: Log in/on/onto/etc
From: Shakespeare's Monkey <CARL_M1 -at- VERIFONE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 1995 08:40:43 -1000

From: IN%"kevinsp -at- CRT -dot- COM" "Kevin Sporleder" 27-JUL-1995 19:21:25.47
To: IN%"TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu" "Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L"
Subj: log onto / log into

Which is correct:
Log onto the system....
Log on to the system....
Kevin Sporleder kevinsp -at- crt -dot- com

And how many times have we seen drafts reading "Logon to the system"?

Not even Fowler can come to a decision on this one:

Writers and printers should make up their minds whether
there is such a preposition as _onto_ or not. ... Abstain
from the preposition if you like; use it and own up if you
like; but do not use it and pretend there is no such word;
those should be the regulations. The use of on to as separate
words is, however, correct when on is a full adverb; and doubts
may occassionally arise whether this is so or not.

There, now does _that_ help?

Me, I say separate the words, as "Logging on" is a single action
which "to the system" is its object.

Kevin, your subject line also mentioned _onto/into the system_, but
I doubt that anyone can could up with a definitive answer to there.
Nonetheless, here's my stab: the action of logging is placing one's
name on/in a list. One may place one's name _on_ a list, but one cannot
place one's name _in_ a list (unless, of course, that list is a database
table into which one is entering...then well...I give up!)

Here's a quarter: Head or tails. Now, be consistent!

Carl Millholland

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