An editorial in the LA Times turns Wired magazine's decision to lowercase "Internet" into a fun discussion about style, copy editing and the German language.
Writers on Wired News, or a large urban newspaper, are very conscious of style. InconsiStency looks aMAteurish and hard to Read. Committees argue fine points, compiling entire stylebooks on such things as capitalizing Earth but not heaven. Capital letters connote Import — Hurricane Charley. Their absence signals ordinariness — the net. Style also gives Writers and editors numerous arcane things to fuss and argue over.How did Wired decide to take the plunge?
If this Newspaper were published in German, as say the Los Angeles Zeitung, copy Editors would capitalize every Noun, an Idea our Founding Fathers initially thought made Senfe, if One requiring Adjustments by the Eyes of Readers.
In the case of internet, web and net, a change in our house style was necessary to put into perspective what the internet is: another medium for delivering and receiving information. That it transformed human communication is beyond dispute. But no more so than moveable type did in its day. Or the radio. Or television.>A Not-So-Capital Idea (The Los Angeles Times)
This should not be interpreted as some kind of symbolic demotion. Think of it more as a stylistic reality check.
>It's Just the 'internet' Now (Wired magazine)
>Rants & Raves (Wired readers weigh in)
>The 'i' in 'Internet' (Buzzworthy blog at SeattlePI.com)