AP changes to 'website'

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 21 19:35:35 UTC 2010

I'm don't understand how you are using the term "proper noun" but I can't see how it could ever have properly applied to "internet" or "website."

For the record, both "Kleenex" and "Xerox" are legally protected trademarks and should be capitized. Legal professionals call them "adjectives," though from linguistic point of view I think of them as proper nouns used appositively. .
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 14:12:40
To: <ronbutters at aol.com>
Subject: Re: AP changes to 'website'

Maybe I'm missing the irony, but the terms were originally
capitalized.  When ARPANet spread to universities and the defense
industry and became the Internet it was a proper noun and remained so
well into the 90s.  When I started bringing a middle school in the
middle of a corn field in central Indiana onto the Internet in 1990,
it was clearly a proper noun.  It has since gone the way of xerox but
not Kleenex, which seems to keep its cap.  When the WorldWideWeb was
made public in 1990, it was also a proper noun.  I suspect there are
plenty of users now who don't know that "the web" refers to that
software application and think that "the web" and "the internet" are
the same thing.  FWIW, the Wikipedia article on the WorldWideWeb
capitalizes "Internet."  You may remember that back in 1990 the
hottest Internet application was Gopher, which died quickly when the
UMinn trustees decided to charge a license fee for it and the WWW
showed up as a free and superior alternative.  And then when the
National Center for Supercomputer Applications at Illinois released
Mosaic in 1993 anyone with a graphics-capable computer adopted it
quickly.  Anyone remember using Lynx?


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM,  <ronbutters at aol.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ronbutters at AOL.COM
> Subject:      Re: AP changes to 'website'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I have long refused to cap either "internet" or "website." We do not cap "telephone" or "airwaves" or "billboard." How did these silly caps get started in the first place?
> ------Original Message------
> From: Taylor Kate Brown
> Sender: ADS-L
> To: ADS-L
> ReplyTo: ADS-L
> Subject: [ADS-L] AP changes to 'website'
> Sent: Apr 21, 2010 12:06 AM
> 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, there
> 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
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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