After tweets and harassment from all of those who have any sense, the Associated Press finally decided to change “Internet,” which was the entry in Stylebooks prior to 2016, to “internet,” because we live in the 21st century obviously.
According to the 2016 Stylebook, AP made the change to reflect “a growing trend and a change by our official dictionary.” We all know, however, that they did it because they were afraid the writing community would combust with rage if we had to write that word again with an uppercase “i.”
In addition to the “internet” change, AP also made “web” lowercase because, well, duh.
If you were writing about your favorite foodie blog on the internet previous to the publishing of the 2016 Stylebook, your opening sentence might have looked a little something like this: “There are not many things I love more than puppies, but an Internet full of Georgetown’s best-kept food secrets might top my list.”
Puppies and Georgetown food blogs aside, this change in the 2016 Stylebook is a significant step in keeping journalism and communication relevant and up-to-date.
Any good journalist — whether they are a written journalist, photojournalist or videographer — should know that a basic element of journalistic integrity is being able to portray reality in its truest form. And, as goofy and stretched as this might sound, lowercasing internet portrays the current reality we are facing.
It portrays a reality where the internet is king and where it is referenced in conversations every second. It’s become a part of our everyday language. It’s no longer some far-off, elevated source of information that requires the treatment of a proper noun.
Now, if we could just convince AP to change “Wal-Mart” to “Walmart” and “OK” to “ok,” perhaps we might actually feel like it’s 2017.
But I realize that’s wishful thinking, and that they need to save some changes or we won’t have a reason to buy the next Stylebook.