electronic mail address
<messaging> (Usually "e-mail address", rarely "e-dress", "e-ddress") The
string used to specify the source or destination of an electronic mail message.
The RFC 822 standard is probably the most widely used on the Internet though
X.400 is also in use in Europe and Canada. UUCP-style (bang path) addresses or
other kinds of source route became virtually extinct in the 1990s.
In the example above, "john" is the local part which is the name of a mailbox on
the destination computer. If the sender and recipient use the same computer, or
the same LAN, for electronic mail then the local part is usually all that is
If they use different computers, e.g. they work at different companies or use
different Internet service providers, then the "host part", e.g.
"sales.acme.com" must be appended after an "@". This usually takes the form of a
fully qualified domain name or, within a large organisation, it may be just the
hostname part, e.g. "sales". The destination computer named by the host part is
often a server of some kind rather than an individual's workstation or PC. The
user's mail is stored on the server and read later via client mail software
running on the user's computer.
Large organisations, such as universities will often set up a global alias
directory which maps a simple user name such as "jsmith" to an address which
contains more information such as "firstname.lastname@example.org". This hides the
detailed knowledge of where the message will be delivered from the sender,
making it much easier to redirect mail if a user leaves or moves to a different
computer for example.
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