On the Internet

The World Wide Web is a proper noun, as is the Internet.

Lowercasing Internet implies that more than 1 decentralized global network based on TCP/IP exists.

While it’s fair to say that there are networks of networks within other countries or within government agencies, the Internet is a distinct way of connecting servers and other devices together.

As long as we cannot point to multiple internets, there can be only one.

“The internets?” Nope. The AP is as wrong today as they were in April. :)

I know that it would be hard for the AP to walk this back, but I think it suggests a profound misunderstanding of what makes the Internet different, how it works or why.

Given the profound respect I have for the AP and its staff, I remained disappointed about the decision, along with what it will mean for thousands of journalists who take their lead (or lede) from their style guide.

3 Comments

Filed under blogging, journalism, technology

3 responses to “On the Internet

  1. Disagree. A car would be a lower case car even if there was only one in the world. A common noun doesn’t become proper just because there are less or fewer of them.

    • Alex

      A car would be lowercase, because a car is not a proper noun. A smartphone is lowercase, but the iPhone is not. A plane is lowercase, but the Spruce Goose is not: there is only one. A network is lowercase, because there are many networks. There is one Internet.

  2. Pingback: On the Internet — digiphile – Understanding the changes in marketing

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