Internet vs internet

October 18th, 2009

I’ve previously argued that Internet oughtn’t be capitalized because, essentially, the Internet is the only internet. I made this argument out of a love for the Internet and its ubiquity, and the hope that it would be with us forever.

That same hope and love for the Internet now prompts me to reverse my previous stance. We capitalize proper names to show respect, and there are precious few things more worthy of our respect than the Internet. We must capitalize Internet for the same reason people capitalize God.

I predict that at my next change of opinion, I will argue that we ought to capitalize it circumstantially, the way we do with familial titles, “This is my mom” vs. “This is Mom.” Analogously, “I browsed the internet” vs. “I browsed Internet.” No one says “I browsed Internet”, but it’s perfectly acceptable grammar since Internet is its proper name.

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