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The Internet? To capitalize or not capitalize? That is the question!

 
 
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 10:46 am
From the opinion page of the Christian Science Monitor:
Quote:
Opinion

Four reasons why American media should lowercase 'Internet'
It hasn’t happened yet in the lower 48, Alaska, or Hawaii, but it’s bound to happen soon: major style guides lowercasing the word “Internet.” And on that day when the style desks of The New York Times and the Associated Press finally issue a press release about the need to start lowercasing Internet in all news articles, headlines, and blogs, we will know that America has finally woken up to web-based reality.
We don’t capitalize words like Radio or Television or Motion Pictures anymore, do we? Once, of course, we did. Now, we know better. However, regarding the Internet, we are still behind the curve, behind the British, lost in capitalization land. The Guardian and the BBC websites got it right, long ago. We need to play catch up. Now.


For the rest of the article:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2011/0714/Four-reasons-why-American-media-should-lowercase-Internet/Usage-should-reflect-how-we-think-about-the-online-world
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:57 pm
@tsarstepan,
Not only that, there is a growing tendency to capitalize all abbreviations, like TV, LOL, Etc. Not to mention the propensity to capitalize the important words in a sentence. Like, we're all German, I suppose.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:27 pm
@roger,
I didn't remember that about German (studied it one semester back in the dark ages). Oh, wait, that the german language does that, or that German is an example of capitalizing?

I have the opposite tendency. It is a kind of push pull. I'm disinclined to capitalize a lot of words I was taught to. So I am capitalizationally bifurcated. Sometimes italy is Italy and sometimes not. I don't care, but on the other hand I try not to offend, say in the case of countries, a lot of people whose places they expect to see capitalized. My non capitalizing caution varies. I tend to say italians but call the country Italy. But not always.

This all started with the Catholics, which I used to be one of, distinguished from those who had catholic views, meaning something like universalist, not necessarily Catholic views. Then when I became not Catholic, I stopped with capitalizing it. Thus potentially adding confusion, depending on the context.

Sometimes capitalization seems useful though, clarifying within a sentence, so I go back and forth. Still, my instinct is not to.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:35 pm

The Internet is a proper noun.
I will continue to capitalize it.





David
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:35 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I tend to say italians but call the country Italy.


That's the convention in Spanish. They would capitalize Spain, but not spanish. Italian probably works about the same. In German, they do capitalize nouns.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:36 pm
@roger,
Just eat your Sauerkraut and be quiet....
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:36 pm
I suppose it doesn't really matter--after all, it's your money. But there is certainly enough of that, money i mean, floating around in internet businesses. If anything, they're probably overcapitalized. Which is no doubt better than the dot-com bubble.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:38 pm
@CalamityJane,
Oh, hushums.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:21 pm
@CalamityJane,
snort..
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:28 pm
i'm basically indifferent to capitalization, i'll capitalize names to make them stand out in a sentence, but other than that, eh
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:29 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
It is? who said?

This may be true, but I've never picked up on that, but I'm a demi-luddite. Is it a trademarked word?
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:33 pm
@djjd62,
dj? brother have you considered joining the church of lowercaseletter?
((handing you a pamphlet)))
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:39 pm
@tsarstepan,
the most work my shift key gets is when i'm highlighting files in itunes to move to my ipod Razz
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:45 pm
@djjd62,
Do we have an uncapitalization club?
Or is that too clubby for people like us?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:48 pm
@ossobuco,
Can I undercapitalize and still over comma?
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:53 pm
We shall overcomma
We shall overcomma . . .
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:56 pm
@roger,
Only if you use colonics.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:57 pm
@roger,
we shall over comma
we shall over comma some day
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 08:47 pm
@tsarstepan,
The lower-case word "internet" indicates that it's a common noun rather than a proper noun. But even if "internet" became a common noun, there would be only one instance of it on the planet. So what's the harm if we call this single entity by the proper noun "Internet"?

Notice how the author's parallel with radio and television fails: While there is only one internet on this planet, there are many television networks, many radio networks, and many motion pictures. Hence, "radio", "television", and "motion pictures" are properly labelled with common nouns.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 08:53 pm
@Thomas,
That's a reasonable explanation Thomas.

I wonder in the not so near future if the Internet will splinter into fragments of multiple internets: Where third world dictatorships will establish large closed networks of their own where their populations will not have any access to the outside world. And if we ever colonize other planets and moons of our solar system, due to distances, (until the distances can be figured out communication wise), they will need separate internet infrastructures in their own.
 

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