Monday, November 10, 2008

Ask The Verb: ''log in into the system"

I have a question involving the use of the verb "log in" vs. "log". Which question is correct or which is "most" proper?

1. "Can you log into the system?"


2. "Can you log in into the system?"

The second seems to be redundant however the correct verb is being used. The verb "log in" is associated with a computer.

The verb "log" in question 1 refers to recording such as recording a ships daily record of actions. For example. Capt Kirk often kept a Captain's log; although this is the noun. He logged the action he took (i.e., He would "log" it down).

The verb "log in" is correct in the sense that if someone from the help desk was asking a question such as "Can you log in?" It is comprehensible that they are asking if I could access the computer system.

The proper response would seem to be "No / Yes, I can('t) log in into the system.

Which is correct and why?

There's surely some change going on here. I wonder if these people are verbing login — that is, that 'to log in into the system' is actually 'to login into the system'? In technical writing, verb login looks pretty common, and some examples of to log in into look like they might really be the same too. The difference between the two looks pretty ambiguous and it's easy to see speakers reanalyzing this.I'm not sure I've heard the form myself, but in speech, you could probably distinguish the two.


The Ridger, FCD said...

Logging on into the system is what I hear a lot; ditto logging off out of the system.

Ollock said...

Never heard it. I think the one I have seen is "Log in to X" (which, I presume, would take appropriately different stress when pronounced).

As far as verbing "login", has "login" lost enough transparency for that? I'm not sure it has for me, but I guess for some it could have.

I also think the etymological assertion deserves a little research. There's other places people keep logs ... and it might be of interest to see if the original purpose of a login was to see who was on the system when (whereas now the primary purpose is to restrict who can use the system, or certain parts of it).

Ellen K. said...

I'd probably spell it log-in. :)

rpmason said...

I've written computer manuals. "Log on to" is correct.

I am logging on to the system.
I will log on to the system.
I logged on to the system.

However, my Login ID is FRED and my password is *******. Actually I prefer User Name but Login works.