AP changes to 'website'

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Apr 21 14:57:42 UTC 2010

This used to be the accepted practice, but it's not so true anymore.
Computer professionals are all over the map with "internet"/"Internet" and
"website"/"web site"/"Website"/"Web site." Ditto for industry publications.
Wired magazine, for example, shifted their style to a lower-case "internet"
in 2004.

In everyday practice, no one uses "Internet" to refer to the smaller routed
networks--capitalization alone is not enough to prevent confusion. Most
professionals use terms like "network" to refer to the smaller and private
TCP/IP networks. I've worked in Silicon Valley for over a decade and I don't
think I've ever heard anyone use "Internet" to refer to the smaller routed
networks, other than in a handful of books and technical papers about
networking standards and practices (like the ones cited here).

Officially, AP is relevant for just AP. But many news organizations use the
AP style, or use it with exceptions (e.g., not all newspapers that use the
AP style will make the shift to "website.") Like any style guide, it's
simply a way to provide consistency among the many writers and editors when
it comes to arbitrary decisions of style. Outside the news business, it
isn't much used, and the AP style is sneered at and derided by many copy
editors. (Why I don't really understand; I think it's perfectly serviceable
as a guide to writing news stories, although not especially applicable to
other types of writing.)

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Eric Nielsen
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:08 AM
Subject: Re: AP changes to 'website'

The accepted practice among computer professionals:

"In this book, we will spell *internet* in the smaller case to refer to any
routed network, and we will spell *Internet *in upper case to refer to the
global Internet."

Panko, Raymond R.
*Business Data Networks and Telecommunications*
Seventh Edition
Prentice Hall, 2009

Of course, that's not to say that the AP will follow suit.


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 12:06 AM, Taylor Kate Brown
<tkatebrown at gmail.com>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Taylor Kate Brown <tkatebrown at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      AP changes to 'website'
> Hi,
> I'm a Columbia journalism student working on an reported opinion piece on
> the rationale behind the copyediting styles of Web site and Internet. Then
> last Friday, the AP shocked me by actually changing their style to
> "website". From what I understand about the background of both words,
> was a stronger case for keeping Web capitalized, but not Internet. What's
> everyone's thoughts on this change? Why not de-capitalize Internet at the
> same time? And for whom is AP relevant for? Readers or simply to clear up
> confusion at large media outlets?
> Thanks,
> Taylor Kate Brown
> ---
> tkatebrown at gmail.com
> www.taylorkatebrown.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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