The NY Times today reports on Professor Jospeh Turow of the Annenberg School for Communication at the U of Penn., whose upcoming book on the Internet (MIT Press) will conspicuously not use an Initial Cap when discussing the internet, uh, Internet. His argument is that the Internet has become a part of the ‘everyday universe’ and therefore should be lowercase, like air, water, radio and television.
An argument can be made that the word should retain its proper noun status as unlike radio or television, there is one specific Internet to which we refer, the one defined in Section 230(f)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, which section defines Internet as “. . . the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable switched data networks.”
As the article points out, we continue to use initial caps for World Wide Web, but tend not to for website or weblogs.