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Spellcheck

August 25th, 2009

Most of the places I’ve worked for throughout my website building career have been pretty hot on accuracy – in design and in terms of spelling. My time at the BBC especially instilled in me a religious devotion to spelling web-words correctly.

Internet shouldn’t have an uppercase ‘i’ (unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence, as it is here). Neither television, nor radio are capitalised, so why should our medium be?

Website is all one word (and for people looking for someone to do your website it’s a good rule of thumb not to go for anyone who spells it ‘web site’ or, worse, ‘web-site’. That includes most of America).

World wide web is lower case.

Most importantly email neither has a hypen, nor a capital E. Just don’t. It’s wrong and makes you look like an amateur. You wouldn’t capitalise paper or envelope, and it’s no more a foreshortening of electronic mail than radio is of radiogramme.

Useful links: www.oed.com

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    July 4th, 2011 at 10:31 | #1

    You said: “Internet shouldn’t have an uppercase ‘i’ (unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence, as it is here). Neither television, nor radio are capitalised, so why should our medium be?”

    Actually, you are wrong here. The Internet is a proper noun – a place, just like London or the New York Stock Exchange. There is only one Internet (well, there’s Internet 2, but that’s not here yet) and it’s not simply “an internet”, unlike intranets, of which there are many.

    I agree with the rest of what you wrote though :o)

  2. July 4th, 2011 at 10:54 | #2

    Where is this Internet you speak of? I’d love to visit!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    July 5th, 2011 at 06:30 | #3

    Well, a quick Google would tell you all you need to know:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_capitalization_conventions

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/Capitalizing-Proper-Nouns.aspx

    http://styleguide.yahoo.com/ask/capitalization/why-do-you-capitalize-internet-lowercase-intranet

    Plenty more, too :)

    The Chicago Manual of Style is a good reference to consult (even though it originates on the other side of the pond), and this, too, advocates capitalisation in this way.

    The BBC do unfortunately seem to have gone their own way on this one.

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