Re: capitalization of 'web'

Subject: Re: capitalization of 'web'
From: "Greg Holmes" <greg -dot- holmes -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 05:56:38 -0500

World Wide Web is a proper noun. There's only one.
It takes a cap.

Ooh, a good TW dispute :)

The usage of "web" these days is largely like "sky". You're right;
there is only one, and everybody knows what you mean by the term.
It's ubiquitous, and nobody owns it (despite the existence of a
standards, er, recommendations organization). To capitalize it seems
oddly anthropomorphic these days, or perhaps instead a throwback to
the somewhat Random capitalization of our Forebears. ;)

We publish things to the web, search the web to check our search
engine placement, and then make sure they look good in our web

This is indeed a change in usage over time. At one point there was a
combination of specificity and potential unfamiliarity where it
perhaps made sense to capitalize. But now we have both specificity
and ubiquity - to the point where if you *are* calling something local
a "web", you should probably stop.

I think somebody else brought this up, but at some point using the
capitalized version of "web" is going to start looking like typing
"internets" - if you don't get to explain you'll look dumb, if you do
get to explain you'll look hopelessly pedantic.

Greg Holmes

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