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It's just internet now?
As of today, WiReD magazine is no longer capitalizing the words internet, web and net. Their reasoning is that the internet is simply another medium for information distribution, and is thus undeserving of capitalization. They concede that the internet did change the world, but no more so than television or the printing press did in their day. Thus, by deliberately lowercasing the words internet, web and net, they claim to be putting the significance of the net back into perspective.
There's been a lot of debate over changes of seemingly little significance over the last few years. It happened most recently when the accepted use of "e-mail" was changed to "email." Now, the de-capitalization movement seems poised to stir up an even larger debate. Joseph Turow lit the fuse a couple of years ago in an article by the International Herald Tribune, but today's WiReD annoucement appears to have finally detonated the bomb. A quick scan of the internet shows that the technorati are up in arms over this announcement. The Slashdot message boards are on fire. Wikipedia and the Chicago Style Manual are also being bombarded.
Where do I stand? A quick glance at my entry ought to tell you right away: I'm for the lowercase "i." Between us though, I don't have any lofty goals about symbolic changes in the English language to put the web into perspective. I'm doing it for a more fun reason: I'd like to put the angry web elitists into perspective. What do you think?Posted by Wendell at August 16, 2004 04:47 PM