When it comes to creating high-quality content either for content marketing purposes, or to showcase on your own blog, accuracy and consistency are important. Lately, there’s been a discussion brewing here between SEO Strategist Mike Vallano and I about how we’re going to present the word “Internet” for consumption, especially on our new goinflow site.

Vallano says we should use a lowercase “i” when using the word. A lot of us content writers use the AP Style guide for our work. AP Style demands an uppercase “I.”

Thinking that this issue is possibly coming up for other copywriters, I asked Vallano to write a SCOTUS style argument for his stance.  Instead, he sent me this:

Basically, I feel like capitalizing it makes it seem like some big, new technology that in hindsight will seem really dated. Like great-grandma listening to the Radio: “wow, wouldya look at that!? Voices, coming right outta this here box in the family room.”

Whereas not capitalizing it just makes it another thing we use all the time. Again, I understand style guides and all that, but I personally find it odd that it hasn’t been given the lowercase green light yet. 

I hereby present my argument in photos:


Well played, sir.

His argument rings true. The Internet is, at this point, inherently accessible. And no copywriter or reporter should imply otherwise with a pretentious uppercase I. Yet, to be taken seriously, online or in print, there are a set of rules writers need to follow lest you look unqualified to be running your mouth. There is a lot to be said for speaking in alignment with the masses. Conversely, there is a lot to be said about speaking with the tone and language of authority.

On top of all of that, the Internet is a proper place. Like Nebraska, or France, or Middle-earth. The web, on the other hand, well, it’s just a general series of tubes. A general place, like a television.

As in:

Julia was on NBC this week. Can you believe she’s on television?

I saw a great cat video on the Internet. Can you believe that crazy stuff is on the web?

We’re at a stalemate here. And in all honesty, I’m no grammarian. I just drank a lot of the AP Style Kool-aid. Is this a matter of rules are made to be broken, or rules are there for a reason?

Tell me how you decided if it was the Internet or the internet.