AP says "Don't capitalize the internet any more."

AP Style alert: Don’t capitalize internet and web anymore.

After years of being pestered by spell checkers and autocorrect alike, my hope for a world where internet doesn’t “need” to be capitalized may be coming true. Of course, they’re the same folks who took the dash out of email and I still kind of miss it.

Since we’re on the subject: What wonky recent spelling, punctuation, and capitalization rules would you like to see adjusted?


The it’s/its rule. ‘It’ shouldn’t be an exception to the 's rule just because it has a contraction as well.

It’s amazingly hard to write an actual readable sentence in which ‘it is’ can be confused with ‘the thing it owns’, that’s why we have sentences.

It’s a completely unnecessary grammar rule that gets in the way of actual communication and creates work and (on the internet) stupid drama.


Here here. Or is it hear hear?

I’d like someone to come along and clear up the lay/lie situation. Since I don’t have any suggestions to that end, I just eschew all of 'em. :angry:


“Its lay”, “it’s lie”.


I didn’t even know that many suppose “internet” should be capitalized until a few days ago. I was writing something in LibreOffice and the spell checker recommended capitalized spelling. I had seen it a few times, but assumed that those were eccentric outliers.


They are certainly not rules, but there are certainly recent punctuation trends I would like to see adjusted!

It bothers the hell out of me when people punctuate words or phrases as if they were sentences. Floating phrases do not need to start with a capital, or end with a period, as their lack of sentence indicates that they do not communicate any sort of complete idea. Ad companies seem to be the worst offenders, stringing together lists of supposedly evocative phrases. “Trust. Reliability. Your most cherished memories. Because of him.” I guess it’s some post-modern thing where I am supposed to bring my own context so that my brain melds with the phrases, but I don’t have this context. So it comes off merely as pidgin English.

Working differently, but appearing similarly, are people using periods mid-sentence. Presumably to convey some sort of emphasis. It makes a sentence. resemble. a. punctuated. list. Or perhaps they are trying to capture the weird halting delivery style of William Shatner when he gets excited.

Another I encounter frequently is people phrasing something as a question, but punctuating it with a period instead of a question mark. Who would know the difference. Come on, the question mark is only one key away on most keyboard layouts!


I rarely see it capitalized anywhere in the wild but the spell checkers keep insisting it’s so (sorry, William, old habits).

I like the languages where questions have both starting and ending punctuation. Although I also think that sentences in general should have that.


ha! I concur. Worst offender is the German army: “We. Serve. Germany.”


The Internet is an internet but an internet is not necessarily the Internet. I’m staying old-school. (I read my RFCs dammit.)

Shuffles off curmudgeonly…


Funny how a person’s viewpoint can change the meaning of a title. To me, capitalize is a finance term. I came here thinking that AP was advising people not to invest in internet startups. :smile_cat:


You said it faster than me. Damn you kids! You probably posted that while riding a hoverboard, didn’t you!


What if I make an RFC requesting it be changed? :laughing:

But in more seriousness, I know how you feel … though on a different topic. I kept the dash in email for a good few years after the AP ruled it should stop.

I could probably have formatted the title in a way less likely to induce confusion. :laughing:

This is one of my points of pedantry. Until the hoverboards actually hover, count me out. :wink:


Well played, well played.

(Gawd I love words, I shoulda been an English major (thank gawd I didn’t))


It didn’t. It was AP’s antiquated style. Unfortunately, many newspapers rely on their style, while the big guys have their own (L.A. Times and The New York Times). Most everyone else in the 20th/21st centuries used lowercase like one does when referring to other utilities (telephone, gas).

The A.P. causes a lot of arguments in our household.

eta: I think the NYT uses uppercase, too?

ICANN will still capitalize Internet, I’m sure. (As they should.)

shuffles off muttering under breath about standards…

1 Like


You are correct, and the title is, punctuationally, not. “The internet” should be in quotes. Interestingly, the Poynter article to which Ignatius’s post poynts starts correctly but later has numerous mistakes of this sort.

(Compulsion-check in 5…4…3…2…)


The job of punctuation is to disambiguate. It isn’t a big deal on a casual web forum like BB, and I’m not usually the guy who corrects it in people’s posts, but the Poynter article was for writers and about punctuation so I think it is fair game to point out their mistakes and inconsistency.

I thought that it meant no more ads… Let’s communize the Internet to free it from the capitalist pigs.


This topic was automatically closed after 320 days. New replies are no longer allowed.