Tuesday, 19th November 2013

by Joshua Gaskell

I’ve observed of late an online epidemic of websites using the incorrect phrases ‘sign into’ and ‘log into’. A simple Bing or Yahoo! search returns thousands of results. Yet the condensed epic poem of the entry in the Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage clearly states that,

Into is written as one word when the meaning is unified in expressing motion towards or to within a destination (He walked into a tree / She put her hand into his). However, when in and to retain their separate roles, it is important to write them as separate words, usually when to is not connected with in but is part of a following to-infinitive or refers forward to a noun or phrase: People dropped in to see them / He accompanied her in to dinner / They were listening in to our conversation.

Or indeed, You log in to the administration area of your blog. Not, as one website has it, ‘The Dashboard is the first screen you see when you log into the administration area of your blog’ [my emphasis]. The only possible defence for this error is that the camel-case name of the website in question – ‘WordPress’ – is intended as self-referential prolepsis: ‘Having pressed together the words word and press, don’t expect us not to do the same with in and to.’

It’s the abusing of God’s patience, and the King’sEnglish.