Internet, Web Enjoy One Final Day as Proper Nouns

The all-encompassing Internet is being demoted.

— -- Internet and Web are enjoying one final day as proper nouns before they're downgraded in written form to the more generic "internet" and "web."

The changes go into effect on Wednesday with the new edition of the AP Stylebook, a manual followed by many journalists, offering a comprehensive guide to the usage of words, style, spelling and punctuation.

"The argument for lowercasing Internet is that it has become wholly generic, like electricity and the telephone. It never was trademarked and is not based on any proper noun," Tom Kent, AP Standards Editor, said in a statement. "The best reason for capitalizing it in the past may have been that the term was new. At one point, we understand, 'Phonograph' was capitalized."

Don't mourn for the Internet and the Web too much, though. When the two names for the great global network gets their new, lower-case stature on Wednesday, they'll will be in good company, joining the likes of website (formerly Web site) and email (formerly e-mail). We have a sneaking suspicion it will only be a matter of time before Wi-Fi joins them in the coming years.

Thankfully, for capital letter enthusiasts, there's one prominent holdout: PDF, short for Portable Document Format, will remain capitalized.