Estimates of number of people currently connected to Internet vary, from 60 million to 100 million and upwards. If we accept conservative figure of 60 million, and surmise that each person sends and receives ONE email message every day, that means there are 120 million email messages whirling about every single day.
How many email messages were waiting for you when you logged on today? I'll hazard a guess and suggest that it would have been somewhat more than one!
A report from Jupiter organisation estimates that commercial e-mail spending will grow from $164 million in 1999 to $7.3 billion in 2005 - this represents an estimated forty-fold increase in e-mail volume.
It's also estimated that average number of commercial e-mail messages that US online consumers receive per year will increase from 40 in 1999 to over 1,600 in 2005; non-marketing and personal correspondence will more than double from approximately 1,750 in 1999 to almost 4,000 in 2005.
So it's no exaggeration to say that one of fastest growing methods of communication is email. In fact, we're in middle of a communications revolution and it's ironic that we're once again relying on one of earliest forms of mass communication - written word.
Language is a dynamic, living thing and in past, has been able to keep pace with changes; so, when electricity was invented (or discovered - depending on your view of world), it was given a name which comes from elektron Greek word for "amber" and electrum, Latin word for "amber" - alloy of gold and silver. In mid 1600s it was known that rubbing amber or glass would produce a magnetic effect that attracted light weight materials, threads, dust etc and this was only known use for electricity for many years - until that fellow with kite came along!
The first big break-through in rapid mass communication, telegraph, takes its name from two Greek words: tele meaning "far off" and graphein "to write, draw or represent by lines".
Television is a mix of Greek tele and Latin visus, past participle of verb "to see".
Computers were given a name which is derived from Latin computatio - a reckoning, because in early days, that's all they did.
But, as with many phenomena which have burst onto scene in last decade, World Wide Web has outstripped our store of words. We've grabbed at a stop-gap solution and come up with prefix "E" to describe anything to do with Internet, so there's e-commerce, e-books and e-mail.