Should we capitalize the word Internet?

Jan 23, 2018 | Blog

The question of whether the word internet should be capitalized is so often debated that it has its own Wikipedia article. In 2016, Associated Press Stylebook, an English grammar style and usage guide created by American journalists, announced that internet and web (World Wide Web) should be lowercased. Along with them, many other publications prefer the lowercase form as well, while in Oxford Dictionaries internet still has the capital I. There are reasonable arguments on both sides. Capitalising Internet is still ongoing because lots of people do it and in general people are already used to it. There are internets (networks of networks) but only one Internet. While on the other hand, supporters who are against it consider that capital letters are unnecessary punctuation which should be eliminated where possible. The non-U.S. approach makes more sense. There is no good reason to capitalize internet. The convention in English is to capitalize the first letters of proper nouns, which are the official names of people, places, objects, or events. The internet is none of these. So why did Internet come to be capitalized in the first place? It was originally capitalized to differentiate the Internet (the global network that anyone can access) from an internet (any network of interconnected computers), but in common usage this distinction is now irrelevant. Internet is now just a generic term for the communication medium.

If we look into the geographic representation of the quotations, we can see that in the UK, the preference for lowercase i is already dominant, while in the US, the capitalized form retains an edge.

At present, which spelling of internet is consider correct depends mostly on the context. Even though both sides have pretty strong arguments, it does leads us to a fairly natural question: which version is right? Both versions are acceptable for now, and whether we accept their opinions and not, surely in time one side will prevail and before you know it we might start writing internet with lowercase.