This week, the The New York Times announced that they would join the Associated Press in decapitalizing (decapitating?) the word “Internet.”
“In our view, it’s become wholly generic, like ‘electricity or the ‘telephone,’ ” he said. “It was never trademarked. It’s not based on any proper noun. The best reason for capitalizing it in the past may have been that the word was new. But at one point, I’ve heard, ‘phonograph’ was capitalized.”
Dumb analogy. The Internet, as a physical object, is arguably humanity’s greatest creation, and certainly among its most influential. You know how many phonographs there were? Me neither, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than one.
Furthermore, as we grapple with issues of network neutrality that may actually create many Internet-like networks, it’s important to use language to remind ourselves that the Internet is useful precisely because of its singular nature.
Long live Internet.