Submitted by lisaholmer  •  February 16, 2005

web site or Web site

Hi, I’m editing a brochure and know Internet is in caps, but is Web for Web site? and is Website one or two words? I’ve seen it both ways.

The brochure is speaking about a specific government website, but says “the county web site”.

Thanks, Freezing on the Hill

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I would favor speaking of "the internet" versus "internet," or even "Internet." If the difference between Internet and internet is the degree of connectivity between particular sets of computers, it is far too ambiguous for consistency.

The reason I favor the term "the internet" is because it can be consistent amongst many people versus attempting to make a distinction between Internet or "the" or "an" Internet or Internets when the only difference is purported to be some ratio of total computers on Earth to currently connected computers. If we were to say that the word, Internet, was to speak about any subset of computers, then it wouldn't be a proper noun, as many "Internets" would exist at any given time. If we were to reference the internet as only one entity, it seems correct to identify it as, "Internet." The problem with that is that "The Internet" is never sufficiently cohesive as to give it its singular.

As is frequently typified in "The Colbert Report," the use of the word "Internets" is frowned upon in contemporary speech. Additional word breaking or hyphenating, such as inter-net or inter net, is also seen as something alien. The only permutation that seems reasonable is "the internet" which is already plural, and not a proper noun.

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"Internet" and "website", in all their permutations, are new words, and their standard usage has yet to be determined. Pick one, stick with it, argue for it, and sooner or later there will be a consensus. Just don't get your knickers in a knot until then.

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As Persephone Imytholin says,
an internet is a group of interconnected networks while the Internet is all of the world's interconnected networks.

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And how many there is a print on the photoprinter? Who knows?

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Hi, why nobody responds me?

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There is no such thing as "an internet". There is only one internet and that is THE Internet.

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An internet (lowercase i) is defined as a set of networks interconnected with routers.

The Internet (uppercase I) is a specific internet of which the World Wide Web is a (rather small) part, making it a proper noun when talking about it (which is what most people do when talking about the Internet).

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Why is internet a proper noun?

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'Internet' is a proper noun. Uppercase 'I' is virtually compulsory for technical use. An 'intranet', on the other hand, needs no capital.

Speedwell's perfectly right with 'website', though 'Web' and 'World Wide Web' are properly capitalised according to, amongst other things, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

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I've never heard "Web" used to refer to a website. Instead, I have always understood it to be short for "World Wide Web."

As speedwell has already said, website is correct as both one and two words, although there has been a shift toward "website" instead of "web-site" and "web site' - just as most people now say "email" instead of "e-mail," "online" instead of "on-line," and "homepage" instead of "home page." Ultimately, speedwell is right: choose one and be consistent.

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I prefer "Internet," but many newspapers and magazines are going with "internet." I hate that.

As far as goes an individual site, I most often see and prefer "website." "Website" only at the beginning of a sentence; "web site," "Web site," and "web-site" are right out. But I always, without exception, see "the World Wide Web," just like that.

Whichever you choose, just make sure it's consistent.

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