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Well, actually, the answer is... it depends. There are private
'internets' throughtout much of the world. However, when writing
about the world wide interconnected network that we all use, the
convention has grown up to capitalize the "I" as in Internet. It's just
a visual clue as to what you're writing about.  However, the Internet
is not a specific network... it's many networks that interconnect.

This one of the notes the we use to try to explain the Internet to our
Editors and Indexers:

    The Internet is a network of thousands of networks, linking
    schools and universities, businesses, government agencies,
    libraries, nonprofit organizations & millions of
    individuals...Nobody owns it. It is a cooperative but more
    often chaotic federation of independent networks. cf NY
    Times, April 5, 1994 C6

Dan Robinson
Indexing Services
H.W. Wilson Company
Bronx, NY

On 11 Feb 00, at 8:33, Kathryn Frech wrote:

> On 11 Feb 00, at 5:55, Kim Christiansen <kimc@west-
> bend.k12.wi.us> wrote:
> > Does anybody out there know the rule for capitalize the "i" in the word
> > "Internet" and when you don't?  Our teachers are trying to figure it out
> > for the benchmark testing.
> >
> > Thank you.
> >
> As I understand it, the word "Internet" should always be
> capitalized, as it is the _name of a specific (albeit, very
> very large) computer network. Since names are always
> capitalized, Internet should always be capitalized. (This
> is the rule for the English language, of course.)
> --
> Kathryn Frech, Librarian

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