Should "Internet" be lower case?

A professor named Joseph Turow wants to make the "I" in "Internet" lower case (via Sci-Tech Daily), because he thinks the upper-case spelling looks like a name brand like Kleenex®™. I'm not sure I agree, but it's discussion-worthy.

What bothers me is "Internet" without a definitive article when it's used as a noun, not counting quoted contexts, of course. "I have Internet" sounds as silly as the opposite usage comedian Kevin "That's Not Right" Meany uses (when doing an impression of his mom) saying, "You're acting like a crazy person....Are you smoking the pot?"

I guess I'm snobbish about "the Internet". It's ironic, since a post of mine advocating linguistic tolerance has the dubious distinction of the number one hit on Google for my bad.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Monday, January 20, 2003 (Link)


Posted by Joshua Kaufman Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 08:18 AM

In that case, let's start arguing why Gateway Arch, New York City and Joshua Kaufman should all be lower case too. Forget grammar rules, they look like brands to me!