The Grammar Police Have Spoken

The Internet gets downgraded to an ordinary noun.


The Associated Press has made “internet” its standard spelling for the global collection of interconnected computer networks, previously known as the Internet. And it decreed that “web” would take the place of the Web, as in the World Wide Web, the initials of which are found at the beginning of most website addresses.

It’s a style change, as journalists call it, which has been advocated for some time. The internet became so pervasive, the reasoning goes, that it no longer deserved the status of a proper noun in American English. The Web, a global set of the Internet, has been around for more than 25 years, and there were those who say its special designation in spelling was outdated, too.

Why does this matter to the good people of the semiconductor industry? Many chip companies are scrambling to show that they are au courant with this construct called the Internet of Things, typically abbreviated as the IoT. Folks in marketing and public relations may be dismayed to see that publications and websites will follow the lead of AP and refer to the IoT as “the internet of things” on first reference.

Those outside the journalism trade are naturally free to use “Internet of Things” whenever they like. Many journalists will continue to use Internet, Internet of Things, and Web as they please. For all the jokes about “grammar police” online, such officers have no enforcement powers, other than shaming and snickering.

In conclusion, do not fear the internet and the web. Don’t be afraid of the Internet and the Web. Live your lives, hug your children, get back to what’s really important!

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