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The Internet is just the internet now

Today is a day of reckoning for all of us who write about the Internet. Because as of today, many publications and news outlets are bringing the Internet down a notch by replacing its capital “I” with a lowercase one.

Say goodbye to the Internet as we’ve known it. Welcome to the internet.

If you model your in-house writing style after the Associated Press, as many of us do, you’ve probably known that this day was coming. The AP announced its decision to lowercase internet on April 2 and noted that this change and other would take effect on June 1. The change coincides with the release of its latest version of the AP Stylebook, which is considered the Bible of writing style for most journalists.

The 2016 Stylebook includes about 250 new or updated terms, including lowercase internet and web.

— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) May 27, 2016

The change makes sense, because both internet and web “have become generic terms,” an AP editor told Poynter in April. We wouldn’t capitalize telephone or television, so why would we capitalize internet?

Other major news outlets are following the AP’s lead. The grandiloquent New York Times announced last week that it too would lowercase the word. (The Times continues, however, to use courtesy titles, as the AP’s Thomas Kent and the Times‘s Jill Taylor are referred to as Mr. Kent and Ms. Taylor on second and subsequent references. Quaint.)

How is your institution reacting to the AP style change? Are you embracing the downsized internet in your news releases and publications? It might take some time for us, as Jill Taylor of the Times says, “to get shift-I out of our muscle memory” when writing about the Internet internet.

This article was posted originally on another blog. You can find this post here.