internetWelcome to the first day of a lower-cased internet. At least, that’s what we’ll have if the AP Stylebook has its way. As I’ve mentioned before, the new edition no longer capitalizes “Internet,” and that edition hits the street today. The AP has a reasonable justification for its new lower-cased stance:

“The argument for lowercasing Internet is that it has become wholly generic, like electricity and the telephone. It never was trademarked and is not based on any proper noun,” Tom Kent, AP Standards Editor, said in a statement. “The best reason for capitalizing it in the past may have been that the term was new. At one point, we understand, ‘Phonograph’ was capitalized.”

I personally still plan to continue capitalizing “Internet,” at least for a while, simply because that’s how I learned the word. It’s not just any old internet, which is what we call a network that connects multiple computer networks together. It’s the Internet. The big enchilada. I suppose I still have more in common with my father, who still yells at the TV when newscasters split infinitives, than I might have expected.

(Found via Slashdot.)


  1. Who reads the AP anymore? Newspaper circulation, the source of much of their income, is so far down, they can no longer attract even mediocre reporters. When I see “AP” at the start of a news article I shudder to think of what follows. The pay is so poor, they don’t attract professionals. They attract people with agendas. I see that over and over.

    Perhaps this attempt to change “Internet” to “internet,” as pointless as it is, represents a last attempt of the AP to say “we matter.” No, they don’t. You do right to ignore them.

    There’s another reason to keep Internet, particularly when talking of technology. Without the capitalization, it is easy to confuse internet with intranet.

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