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There are a plethora of words for user accounts, like logon, login, signon, and also the action of logging in (or logging on) or signing in.

Are there any usage guidelines here?

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They're all synonyms. – user706 Aug 26 '10 at 9:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I found some infomation on Stackoverflow.

This is particularly useful:

login, logout, logon, and logoff are nouns or adjectives

log in, log out, log on, log off are verbs

for developers, this will probably be helpful in deciding which term to use:

Just an observation, but the more casual the site, the more likely it’s going to use Sign in/Sign out. The paradigm of a visitor making an announcement of presence to a casual gathering of people. More formal sites tend to want you to Log in and Log out. The wording suggests the clocking in for work; The paradigm of a person with an accredited level of authentication accessing a secure terminal and leaving a record of that visit in a log.


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With [in|out|on|off] being a preposition in log [in|out|on|off]. – Arlen Beiler Aug 26 '10 at 10:19
As a computer scientist by training currently working in IT, I get the sense that you log in to your (local) computer and log on to a (remote) server. – Graham Herrli Dec 2 '12 at 0:28
Historically logging in was synonymous with signing in, ie. something you did on a piece of paper, before you entered. Where as logging on was introduced as something you did, when typing credentials on a computer (logging on to the mainframe via teletype). Seeing as a given university would only do use one method, and each method was done for the same security and accountability reasons, people stopped making the distinction, and thus the words lost said distinction. – Born2Smile Sep 2 at 17:07

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