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15 April 2010

Writing: The Internet, Internet or internet?

First, some examples from my students
1. People can now have internet (Internet) at homes.
2. You can now go shopping on the internet (the Internet)
3. We do not have internet (Internet) in our school.

In the past, I often tell my student to capitalize "Internet" and put "the" if they are talking about the World Wide Web. The internet is a new phenomenon and so the conventional practice is to capitalize and put an article "the" (the Internet). However, this is now changing and many legitimate publications do not capitalize "internet" anymore.  

So what should you do?

For now, it does not matter if you write "internet," "the internet," "the Internet," "Internet," “net,” or “the Net.” At present, English grammar does not prescribe a specific rule. Let's wait what form will be used more widely.

You can also check the detailed discussion in Wikipedia.
Web site:

Here are simple guidelines that you can follow.

1. The preposition for internet is “ON”
Examples: I can go shopping on the internet. The game is on internet.

2. You do not need to put “the” if you will just talk about internet connection or access.
Examples: I do not have internet at home. Do they have internet in Rob’s Coffee Shop?

3. Always put '"the" before "internet" or "Internet" if you are referring to the World Wide Web.
Examples: The internet is the number one source of information in the world. The internet has changed our lives

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