On-premise or on-premises, what will it be?

On-premise or on-premises, what will it be?

A colleague recently made me aware of the widely used yet incorrect expression on-premise for software that can be run on a customer’s servers rather than in the cloud. If you look out for it or ask your favourite search engine, you will see just how many people make this mistake. In hindsight, I have to admit that I was probably among them, having heard it so often during presentations.

There are numerous articles covering this issue, two of which are linked below. The upshot is that the correct expression is on-premises. This is actually quite obvious if we consider the very different meaning of the words:

premises: the building and land near to it that a business owns or uses (source: OED)

premise: a statement or an idea that forms the basis for a reasonable line of argument (source: OED)

However, things are somewhat complicated by two minor details:

  1. premises is always used in its plural form, even if referring to a a single building
  2. premises is also the plural of premise, so context may be crucial

[1] English blog post: https://www.adamfowlerit.com/2017/04/premise-vs-premises-cares/
[2] German blog post: http://blog.dieter-rauscher.de/it/?p=1329

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