Advertising URLs

I don’t know why, but it seems that the people who read URLs in ads are more computer illiterate than the general population. A few things I would like to announce:

  • You cannot “click to” a website.
  • While strictly speaking, you can “click on” a URL, it makes no sense to ask people to click a URL that you read on the radio or show on TV.
  • You can “surf to” a website, but that started being corny after 1999. Why not just ask people to “visit” or “check out” your website?
  • The slashes used in URLs are just “slashes.”
  • Technically, they’re “forward slashes,” but don’t say that unless you’re asking people to enter your Uniform Resource Locator into their web browser and to use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol over their modulator-demodulator.
  • Backslashes are “backwards” of normal:
  • Almost nothing uses backslashes. Saying “backslash” is wrong and misleading.
  • Not only is it wrong, but specifying the type of slash is needless.
  • Do you really need to read slashes in your URL at all?
  • This seems to apply to NPR only: you do not need to spell out “.org”. Ever.

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