Back in 2002, The New York Times ran a piece on media expert Joseph Turow's campaign to lowercase "Internet." At the time, Mr. Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, had convinced MIT press to let him leave the capital I off "internet" in new content in his forthcoming book.
He was not driven simply by a passion for updating grammar and stylebooks, but as the article explains, his efforts were a push to help Americans “acknowledge a deep shift in the way we think about the online world.”
The Internet is embedded in our everyday world and isn't some uppercase novelty. Even though Americans invented the Internet, by capitalizing it, American copy editors are out of touch with its evolved place in our lives. (Even here at the now web-daily Monitor, style gurus insist on capping the “I.”)
The cyberspace experience is not an isolated, novel, or occasional diversion. It’s engrained in how we live – from how we access information, to how we work, to how we spend our leisure time. Our usage of the term should reflect that fundamental shift, particularly in the news media, where the Internet is now king.