"I love the internet or I love Internet"

  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    AE= American English; BE=British English. Some major reference works, such as those published by Oxford University Press, use NamE, for North American English.

    A clarification- the internet is the noun form. When internet is used as an adjective, the article may be omitted.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I don't think so. Cuchuflete was simply saying that it would be:

    "I love internet romances" (where internet is an adjective)

    but

    "I love the internet" (where internet is a noun)
     

    juandavidcrog

    Senior Member
    Colombian Spanish
    Mmmm I'm still about uncertain about this....... why do you say "I love the internet" but then you say "I love nature"....... I've heard it depends on the kind of things...... there's just one kind of internet but several kinds of nature?

    Thanks
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    AE= American English; BE=British English. Some major reference works, such as those published by Oxford University Press, use NamE, for North American English.

    A clarification- the internet is the noun form. When internet is used as an adjective, the article may be omitted.
    Cuchu,

    Do you type "the internet" or "the Internet"? The sources I've checked recommend a capital when used this way. Frankly, I've never understood why.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I don't capitalize the word. This has been discussed in another thread. Some authorities(!) say it should be capitalized. I suppose they have their logic, but I'm not yet persuaded that it matters much one way or the other. I wasn't in the habit of writing "The Telephone Network" either, or "The Electric Power Grid" or "The Government". I look forward to a fellow forero or two or three beating me up over this.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    So an american would say "I love the internet" whereas a british person would say "I love internet"? thanks

    Hi juandavidcrog,

    No, I just specified what AE does because I'm an AE speaker, and don't presume to know all BE customs. Now you have clarification from Matching Mole that BE treats the word the same way as AE.
     

    screzic

    New Member
    English- American, Spanish- American
    Just to clarify:

    Internet must always be capitalized, and the article THE must always be used. You would only not use THE if Internet was somebody's name. But even then you would have to capitalize.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Just to clarify:

    Internet must always be capitalized, and the article THE must always be used. You would only not use THE if Internet was somebody's name. But even then you would have to capitalize.


    Why?

    Will I be shot at dawn for failure to capitalize it? What rule of grammar will I have offended? According to whom?
     

    screzic

    New Member
    English- American, Spanish- American
    You won't be shot... at least not by me. lol

    If you break the USE A BIG LETTER FOR THE I in Internet rule: You will seem silly and imature. I'm not sure who invented the rule, but it was whoever said capatilize proper nouns.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    It takes a capital just like every other proper noun I suppose. The Queen, the Pope, the King… The way in which the internet is odd is that you can't really have an internet. Either its the Internet or its just a network. We even use it as though we have the same internet now as we did when it was invented.

    So as I see it:
    The Internet is a proper noun and so takes a capital.
    An internet is linguistically logical but makes no sense and so isn't used.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I don't capitalize the word. This has been discussed in another thread. Some authorities(!) say it should be capitalized. I suppose they have their logic, but I'm not yet persuaded that it matters much one way or the other. I wasn't in the habit of writing "The Telephone Network" either, or "The Electric Power Grid" or "The Government". I look forward to a fellow forero or two or three beating me up over this.
    Cambrige says this;

    the Internet
    internet banking
    internet café

    Although this supports all the people who quote rules, the rules themselves are odd.

    English does not not normally capitalize a word only when it is noun.

    For instance, imagine this:

    the Pentagon
    pentagon policy :cross:

    According to MW, the word "Internet" has only been around since 1985. While that date may not be 100% accurate, it shows that we are dealing with a fairly new word, and I think it's quite likely that the capitalization is tempory.

    Gaer
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Some background to this ...

    There are many pentagons, but only one Pentagon, usually referred to as the Pentagon.

    There are many internets, but only one Internet, usually referred to as the Internet.

    This is an historical distinction, where historical means more than ten years ago in this context :)
    1996 K. HAFNER & M. LYON Where Wizards stay up Late (1998) viii. 244 Roughly speaking, an ‘internet’ is private and the ‘Internet’ is public. The distinction didn't really matter until the mid-1980s when route vendors began to sell equipment to construct private internets. But the distinction quickly blurred as the private internets built gateways to the public Internet.

    Over the period since then, private internets have become known as intranets, less private but still protected internets have become extranets. This probably leaves the Internet as the only internet.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Some background to this ...

    There are many pentagons, but only one Pentagon, usually referred to as the Pentagon.

    There are many internets, but only one Internet, usually referred to as the Internet.

    This is an historical distinction, where historical means more than ten years ago in this context :)
    1996 K. HAFNER & M. LYON Where Wizards stay up Late (1998) viii. 244 Roughly speaking, an ‘internet’ is private and the ‘Internet’ is public. The distinction didn't really matter until the mid-1980s when route vendors began to sell equipment to construct private internets. But the distinction quickly blurred as the private internets built gateways to the public Internet.

    Over the period since then, private internets have become known as intranets, less private but still protected internets have become extranets. This probably leaves the Internet as the only internet.
    Excellent. Note, however, that it still does not explain why we do not write "Internet banking" or an "Internet café".

    There may be other examples that show how nouns, capitalized, are not capitalized when used as adjectives, with the spelling unchanged. At the moment I'm drawing a blank. I can't think of another exampled. (Brain cramp!)
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    Excellent. Note, however, that it still does not explain why we do not write "Internet banking" or an "Internet café".

    There may be other examples that show how nouns, capitalized, are not capitalized when used as adjectives, with the spelling unchanged. At the moment I'm drawing a blank. I can't think of another exampled. (Brain cramp!)

    The Queen is a queen. We can also speak of queen bees. This follows exactly the same pattern as internet:
    • Noun not capitalised. - Several internets (not used)
    • Proper noun capitalised. - The Internet
    • Adjective not capitalised - internet banking
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    The Queen is a queen. We can also speak of queen bees. This follows exactly the same pattern as internet:
    • Noun not capitalised. - Several internets (not used)
    • Proper noun capitalised. - The Internet
    • Adjective not capitalised - internet banking
    It's not the same at all. Internet banking is still talking about banking using the Internet.

    When you talk about "queen bees", the bees have no connection at all to the Queen.

    Panjy clearly why "internet" only refers "the Internet".

    Over the period since then, private internets have become known as intranets, less private but still protected internets have become extranets. This probably leaves the Internet as the only internet.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    Perhaps we must deduce that internet banking is not banking using the Internet, but banking using an internet (which just happens to be the Internet in most cases).
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Perhaps we must deduce that internet banking is not banking using the Internet, but banking using an internet (which just happens to be the Internet in most cases).
    I don't deduce that at all. I don't think that's what the term means.

    I think you are going out of your way to rationalize a reason for an anomaly that has no reason for it! :)
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    One of the previous threads linked to the link panj provided had a post which made a telling point. Once upon a time, the Telephone was an important novelty, and the noun was a proper noun. With widespread use, it became a plebian, ordinary noun, and the capital T went the way of the buggy whip. This may be happening more quickly with the i/Internet, which for me is no more a proper noun than a bog roll (a roll of toilet paper in AE). It is an everyday item. I don't capitalize salt shaker, and I find the internet to be a mundane tool, however valuable.

    Most, but not all, dictionaries suggest or demand an I. Lexicographers are not known for their linguistic leadership habits.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    I think you are going out of your way to rationalize a reason for an anomaly that has no reason for it! :)
    Until I thought about it, I thought it odd that it is capitalised, but after thinking about it, it makes sense to me. And whoever heard of an adjective being capitalised?
     

    lian.alon22

    Senior Member
    US
    US-English
    Actually, you can say "I love Internet", but you MUST capitalize the "i" if you do so. Mostly, you hear "I love the internet", but Internet is a proper noun, which is almost never observed, in AE, anyway. So actually, both of your first sentances are correct, but mostly you will hear "the internet" over "Internet".
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Actually, you can say "I love Internet", but you MUST capitalize the "i" if you do so. Mostly, you hear "I love the internet", but Internet is a proper noun, which is almost never observed, in AE, anyway. So actually, both of your first sentances are correct, but mostly you will hear "the internet" over "Internet".
    Who have you heard say, "I love Internet!" with no "the"? :confused:

    How can you "hear" one spelling over another? :confused:
     

    lian.alon22

    Senior Member
    US
    US-English
    You don't hear the spelling, but if you notice, there is a word difference, which is not a spelling issue, but a grammatical/sentence structure difference. I have heard teachers and adults use it. Like I said, it is not very common, but it is correct. It is often overlook, however, and I'm not sure why because we usually cut out syllables, not add them.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Until I thought about it, I thought it odd that it is capitalised, but after thinking about it, it makes sense to me. And whoever heard of an adjective being capitalised?
    This is the the norm:

    the Red Sea, Red Sea information.
    the Senate, Senate races
    the Missippi River, Mississippi River transportation
    the Vatican, Vatican excavations

    I am claiming that this is either an anomaly or at least unusual:

    the Internet, internet banking

    I'm asking for more examples of the latter.

    Gaer
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Like I said, it is not very common, but it is correct.

    We agree that it is not common. It is so rare, in fact, that I've never heard a single living soul say it.

    Is it correct? It is certainly not idiomatic. What's the difference between nouns that generally take the article the in normal speech and those that don't? Idiom.
    Habit. Custom.

    If it is "correct" to say I like internet, then it should be equally "correct" to change

    Join the Marines
    See the world!

    to
    Join Marines
    See the world!

    Sounds pretty klunky to me, correct or not.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    See the world!
    This is correct English, but it contradicts the Internet capitalisation. See the Internet, see the Queen, see the King, see the hippopotamus. Why not see the World? It seems to me that the world is closer to the capitalised words, in that there is only one world (there could be many, but the world is a very specific one, namely ours).
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi Eigenfunction,

    I've created some confusion by not making it clear that I was referring to this:

    Actually, you can say "I love Internet",

    Hence Join Marines in place of Join the Marines. I have no issues at all with either See the world or See the World or See The World on a recruiting poster. Ad copy ignores grammar or embraces it, according to what fits and what sells.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    Hi Eigenfunction,

    I've created some confusion by not making it clear that I was referring to this:



    Hence Join Marines in place of Join the Marines. I have no issues at all with either See the world or See the World or See The World on a recruiting poster. Ad copy ignores grammar or embraces it, according to what fits and what sells.

    I understood perfectly what you were saying and I agree that "I love Internet" is never right. It just struck me that in your example was another anomaly to throw into the huge melting pot of anomalies we are finding in this thread. I think we might just have to call this pot, "English" and stop trying to organise it too strictly ;).
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Why should we believe Collins? I agree that it does not make sense that the attributive is not capitalized when the noun proper is, and personally I dispute it. The OED has Internet café, so there's a disagreement right there.

    I agree that the capitalization may fall by the wayside altogether; it's observation has always been somewhat patchy, and I think even some careful writers are ceasing to care about it.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Why should we believe Collins? I agree that it does not make sense that the attributive is not capitalized when the noun proper is, and personally I dispute it. The OED has Internet café, so there's a disagreement right there.
    At least the OED is recommending something consistent.
    I agree that the capitalization may fall by the wayside altogether; it's observation has always been somewhat patchy, and I think even some careful writers are ceasing to care about it.
    I think you are right. :)

    Gaer
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    the i/Internet, which for me is no more a proper noun than a bog roll (a roll of toilet paper in AE). It is an everyday item. I don't capitalize salt shaker, and I find the internet to be a mundane tool, however valuable.
    I'm a bit late but Hear hear. Personally, I wouldn't dream of capitalizing the internet, ever, under any circumstances. It's just a thing. Now if someone owned the copyright to the word, or owned the thing itself, that would be different. Possibly.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Well, Ewie, better late than never. Thus, I'm now popping into this as well.

    I think that a number of posters have touched on this in various ways but I believe that it's the psychology of the thing. Cuchu referred to it as perhaps a "novelty" factor and I think that's what the 'Net is for me (and, yes, I capitalize it that way, too). It's THE Internet. It's the one and only. It's the grandeur, it's the awesomeness! It deserves to be capitalized.

    I think that some of us of a "certain age" (who remember the days when there was no such thing) tend to give it more respect, if you will, than younger folks who've lived with it all their lives and take it for granted. Hence, I will continue to capitalize it long after everyone else has ceased doing so. Just call me a sentimental fool.:)
     
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