The AP Stylebook Will Lowercase Internet Starting June 1, And The Web Reacts
The Associated Press (AP) has declared that the Internet shall now just be the "internet" starting on June 1.
That date shall mark the end of the capitalized "Internet" along with the "Web." Between the two terms, however, it's the de-captialization of the word "Internet" that has fired up the Internet. (It's not June 1 just yet.)
The AP's highly influential style guide is set to be updated this year when it publishes the 2016 edition of its Stylebook. In it there will be 240 new and modified entries, but it's the one change on the word "Internet" that's causing an uproar.
The AP tweeted about the change and offered a graphic of the definition of the word "internet" in lowercase.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 2, 2016
Replies to the AP's tweet — considering the conversation is occurring on a platform that tends to turn toxic — were for the most part civil and well thought out.
"Bad call, folks - ask any network engineer the difference between "an internet" and "the Internet," tweeted user @wesmorgan1.
"There is and can be only one Internet. Lesser interoperable networks are individually 'an internet.' Embarrassing," another user, @robotterror, tweeted.
And if civility seemed to fly out the window, it was met with much passion.
"DON'T LET THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA STEAL OUR CAPITAL LETTERS!" declared@BillStewart415 in ALL CAPS.
Regardless, the AP is set in its ways and the change is coming no matter how much the Internet whines about it. In fact, the AP isn't without its supporters.
The Internet's WIRED, Susan C. Herring, upholds the case against the capitalization of the word.
"The fact is, decapitalizing internet is part of a universal linguistic tendency to reduce the amount of effort required to produce and process commonly used words. Not only does decapitalization save a click of the shift key, but, as one marketing website put it, 'Capital letters are speed bumps for the eyes when reading,'" she writes.
This isn't the first time the Web has reacted so strongly towards the AP's style changes. In 2010, it ruled that "web site" would become one word, "website." In 2011, "e-mail" became just "email."
And twice in 2014, the Internet poked fun at the AP's announcement that it would better style to spell out the names of states instead of abbreviating them and that the words "over" and "more than" could be used interchangeably.
Whichever side people find themselves on regarding the Internet, surely, we'll all still be using the same Internet to keep ranting on.