Like a cool business dad, The New York Times has finally decided to stop capitalizing the word "Internet." From June, the publication will be relying on lowercase letters to describe the information superhighway, calling it just the "internet" in both its print and online iterations.
The NYT is joining the Associated Press in ditching the capital-I internet this year, with both bastions of journalistic style choosing to shrink the letter on June 1st. Thomas Kent — the AP's standards editor — explained that the internet had become "wholly generic, like ‘electricity or the ‘telephone'." The word was not trademarked, and not based on a proper noun, he said. "The best reason for capitalizing it in the past may have been that the word was new. But at one point, I've heard, ‘phonograph' was capitalized."
The change, which had been discussed at the 2016 American Copy Editors Society conference in April, will help some of the world's biggest publications sound less like Dr. Evil when describing everyday interactions, but the AP's announcement earlier this year also drew some frowny faces from internet users who'd much rather stay Internet users. One called the move "pointless and counter-productive," saying it was grammatically wrong to decapitalize a proper noun, while another said the internet deserved the honorific big I as a wonder of the world.