[ih] 'Internet' vs 'internet'
Brian E Carpenter
brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 14:47:00 PDT 2018
(Cc:s intentionally intact)
I think you should have addressed your letter to "Dear science news editors".
Clearly, if the Internet doesn't need to be capitalised, neither does
"Science News". For that matter, you could write a similar letter to the
editor of the economist, or of the times.
On 2018-09-30 03:12, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> Dear Science News editors:
> I was extremely saddened to see, in the latest issue of 'Science News', that
> you all have apparently succumbed to the fashion of using 'internet' to refer
> to the Internet. While I expect to see this sort of error in general
> publications, it's most unfortunate to see a magazine focused on technical
> matters make the same mistake.
> Let me explain.
> An 'internet' is a generally, and widely, accepted technical term for a
> collection of disparate physical networks (fiber optic links, wireless
> network, Ethernets, etc) connected together with a particular type of packet
> switch, called 'routers'. (There are other kinds of packet switch, but they
> have mostly fallen into desuetude now.)
> The 'Internet' is the massive internet to which most people of the world now
> have access. (See how that sentence doesn't make sense without distinguishing
> one with the capital?)
> There are, however, still many other internets, which are not connected to the
> Internet. (Google "air gap" if you aren't aware of this - and again, the
> different spelling is crucial to the sentenced being comprehensible.)
> The people who invented internets, and the Internet, carefully chose to use
> the capital precisely to distinguish between the two. (I recall the
> discussion.) The Internet Engineering Task Force, the body responsible for the
> technical specifications for internets and the Internet, continues to use that
> Just as there are many 'white houses', but only one 'White House', there is an
> important distinction between 'internet(s)' and the 'Internet'.
> So I hope you will update your editorial guidlines to note that the term for
> _the_ Internet is spelled with a capital.
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