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WiFI or Wi-Fi?
June 9, 2005 7:24 AM   Subscribe

WiFi or Wi-Fi? I keep getting asked which it technically is. Does anyone have any documentation to back up which it is. An example: www.wi-fiplanet.com. It has a hyphen. The WiFi Alliance doesn't. Which is correct?
posted by wflanagan to Technology (13 answers total)
 
i'm going to assume it's like CDr and CD-r. Both are correct.

I mean, check this out. They spell it both ways on that site. I believe it's an either/or situation.

Also, here is what wikipedia lists as it's entry for wifi, "Wi-Fi (or Wi-fi, WiFi, Wifi, wifi), short for "Wireless Fidelity..."

All are acceptable and correct (although note that they use Wi-Fi.)
posted by freudianslipper at 7:33 AM on June 9, 2005


Webopedia goes with Wi-Fi, but like freudianslipper said, i think both are used and acceptable.
posted by geeky at 7:57 AM on June 9, 2005


The Wi-Fi allience website has hyphens all over it:
Wi-Fi® and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance; and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, WMM™, WPA™, WPA2™, Wi-Fi ZONE™, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, the Wi-Fi Alliance logo and the Wi-Fi ZONE logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Granted, the logo doesn't, but then it is a logo.

(Wikipedia is not a reliable source for names, since random users like to add every name they can think, and they're rarely removed)
posted by cillit bang at 8:24 AM on June 9, 2005


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (aka the IEEE) are the developers of the Wi-Fi 802.11b standard, they use the spelling Wi-Fi.
posted by eschatfische at 8:26 AM on June 9, 2005


It seems to me I see it as WiFi more than any other way. But apparently the experts go the other way according to previous posts on this thread.
But deconstruct what "Wireless Fidelity" means, please. How does that translate to "Local Wireless Network"? Fidelity as it refers to electronics to me describes sound quality, and without a qualitative modifier (like Hi Fi) really doesn't communicate anything. I think it was just coined without regard to what the words actually mean.
posted by Doohickie at 8:30 AM on June 9, 2005


In a shocking lack of editorial control, the NY Times uses both Wi-Fi and Wifi.
posted by smackfu at 8:59 AM on June 9, 2005


"Fidelity" is obviously meant to refer to adherence to the standard and thus to interoperability, so it's not quite meaningless, although the meaning is abstracted a couple layers from the surface.
posted by kindall at 9:21 AM on June 9, 2005


Also, please pronounce it 'whiffy' because it amuses me so.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:06 AM on June 9, 2005


It's a neologism! You decide for future generations!
posted by Eideteker at 11:57 AM on June 9, 2005


Just say "Wireless" or "802.11b" (or a or g, whichever you are using).
"Wi-Fi" just sounds like the made up marketing term it is.
posted by madajb at 11:58 AM on June 9, 2005


Well, email started out as e-mail, and dropped the hyphen as it became more common. I'd say the same for wireless, it's wifi for me.
posted by borkencode at 5:18 PM on June 9, 2005


wifi connotes 'knowledgable user'.
WiFi connotes 'coffeehouse hipster'.
Wi-Fi connotes 'AOL member'.
posted by mischief at 7:27 PM on June 9, 2005


Until it gets into the dictionaries, there's no "correct" -- it's a matter of usage. Based on the history of English (base ball > base-ball > baseball, &c) it will almost certainly end up without the hyphen, so that's the way to bet if you're the betting type.
posted by languagehat at 9:18 AM on June 10, 2005


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