Monday, April 06, 2015
Really? We still capitalize the word "internet?"
This week's "Desert Sage" column hit the streets today, as well as the Deming Headlight's web page. (You can read it by clicking here.) While reading it over, I noticed that the editors had gone in and carefully capitalized the word "internet," which I had used as a common noun throughout.
Really? This is still a thing? When new technologies emerge, there has been a tendency to capitalize its name as if it were a god - for example, for a while the phonograph was the Phonograph. The picture above shows President Warren Harding recording a message into a Phonograph in 1923. Harding was quite the tech president, being the first president to have a Radio in the White House.
At some point, the technology becomes familiar enough that its name becomes less potent, its status downgraded from proper noun to common noun.
This is not a complaint, just -- cute. I suppose I assumed that by now most journals had gotten over the rush of mystical excitement about the internet and were using it was a common noun. Turns out, not so much. Usage varies. The internet is still young enough to get the proper noun treatment in a wide swath of publications and media.
So hail to thee, Internet.