Is Internet Capitalized?

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Historically, the word internet was capitalized since it is a proper noun, but in the last few years the trend has been to lowercase the word internet since it is now a general noun.

Update: In 2016, Associated Press editors decided to reverse a long-standing tradition of capitalizing the word Internet. Since 2016, the AP stylebook now recommends lowercasing “internet” and “web.”

Is Internet Capitalized or Not?

There is continual debate around whether the word Internet should continue to be capitalized since it has established itself into everyday life. Since the AP Stylebook announcement in 2016, the trend across style guides has been to lowercase the word internet.

In fact, the UK has mostly transitioned to referring the to Internet with a lowercase “i” as you can see in this study done by Oxford Dictionaries. In the US, about 65% of the population refers to Internet with a capital “I” versus in the UK, only about 25% of the population uses a capital “I.” In fact, the earliest use of the word, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary from 1974, was with a lowercase i since at that time there were multiple internets.

Is World Wide Web Capitalized?

“The World Wide Web,” often used to mean the same thing as “internet,” is the formal name of the internet as we know it today invented by Tim Berners-Lee. It also goes by “The Web” for short. According to the MLA style guide, both “The World Wide Web” and “The Web” should be capitalized since they are proper nouns.

 

While the debate continues, you should always follow the standard title capitalization rules for capitalizing titles regardless of the outcome of the Internet debate.

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