Wired has announced that they will no longer capitalize Internet, Web and Net in their stories, stating “there is no earthly reason to capitalize any of these words. Actually, there never was.”
Capitalization, or rather, the lack thereof, of these specific words has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Frankly, I think Wired has it wrong. Their reasons appear to be soundly justified, as they label the Internet as “another medium for delivering and receiving information”. But they seem to have forgotten one key point, the Internet is a proper noun. Unlike television, radio, newspaper…or hell even intranet (A private network, typically secured for a specific company or group) there are not multiple copies or versions of it. The Internet has been hard to categorize from the get go, it is both a medium for information dissemination and a location or destination. The ‘Web’, is no different. Their choice to capitalize ‘World Wide Web’ illustrates the point all the more.
While I thoroughly respect Wired, they have made a poor journalistic decision, based on a misunderstanding of the words and their definitions.
Though it is good to see that they still follow proper conventions by hyphenating the shortened form of electronic mail: e-mail.