Internet or internet?

I got my last PoliSci paper back with a horrendous grade, for me (88%). I looked through my paper and began thinking that this guy has some sort of power trip going on. Napolean complex, perhaps. I’m not used to having my papers shredded apart by someone who clearly doesn’t understand writing as well as he should for his level of education. I felt the paper was well organized and he thought it needed more organization. I’m definitely okay with getting some feedback for my papers even if it is constructive criticism. What I am not okay is him scratching out something I know to be fact in the writing world. Here is the sentence in question:

This is especially true for the masses in our current time because of a wide variety of social classes having access to information via modern media outlets such as cable television and the Internet.

What did he find wrong with that sentence? The capitalization of Internet.

So, I said to him after I looked through the paper, “Internet is written with a capital I.”

He said, “No, it’s not.”

I said, “It’s a proper noun.”

He said, “Even so, in most circles it is uncapitalized.”

I said, “Uh…okay.”

I really was trying NOT to be condescending, but it just wasn’t working in my tone. All I could think at that point is that he must have limited access to insufficient social circles and that I now had a better understanding of why he wasn’t married.

This is the person who is grading my papers, folks. I should wear a sign that says, “HELP ME.” I really wanted to lay into him, but realized that was futile and that I was probably hurting my chances of getting better grades if I pursued my line of reasoning. However, if that word is to be used again in a paper, I will capitalize it, as that is the way it should be written. What’s next?…telling me potato should be spelled, “potatoe.” UGH!

This class is really pissing me off. Sure, we didn’t have to buy a book, but he doesn’t give us clear objectives before reading the articles he has assigned and there is no one place that we have to access pertinent information as a reference. Honestly, if you’re not in class, you’re fucked. Even if you’re in class, the point to each class often takes the whole class to get and then you’re kicking yourself in the ass for not having written EVERYTHING down in your notes.

I sit next to a PoliSci major. In her words, “This class makes me feel dumb. I’m one year from graduation and this class makes me feel like I’ve wasted my time. I don’t need this and I could have taken something else I liked instead of this class.”

This class is literally painful to attend and thankfully it will be over in just a few weeks.

11 thoughts on “Internet or internet?

  1. On second thought… doesnt this guy have anything better to do than to worry about that… Somehow it seems looking at the content of the paper would be much more important.

  2. Two of the worst classes I ever had were in Political Science. In one the course was entirely centered around the text book – which the professor wrote. You were graded on how well you absorbed his boundless wisdom. There was not a lot of room for discussion or independent thought.

    In the other, the professor ended almost every sentence with “as such.” I counted 54 in one 50 minute class!

  3. That is hysterical about the “as such”, Stephen! This guy makes this annoying sound/statement when he is undecided about something or has made an error in his speech. It goes something like this..”NYAAAA.” It’s something along the lines of the most annoying sound in the world as heard in the movie, Dumb & Dumber.

    KidDoc – Yeah, you would think content would be more important. However, I have known professors before who have stressed the importance of good writing skills because of their future impact. I had one professor of psychology who had been an English professor before and was a huge stickler for good paper writing. I got all A’s in her class. This guy has stated a similar bent. That’s why I find this particular incident so horribly wrong. You can’t stress the importance of good useage and systematically go against the grain of basic rules. If he didn’t appear to be so retaliatory, I would have pursued this. But, I get the idea that someone with enough complex to shoot me down immediately is someone who doesn’t have a problem grading on an emotional curve in the future.

  4. Everything I have read states that Internet should be capitalized. However, I will admit that website has become just as acceptable as Web site.

  5. I agree. However, website is not The Web site. There are many websites…just ONE Internet. I know it’s a small thing, but I think that every English professor would side with me and against him. Honestly, it is so contested in some cases that it should be accepted either way, but certainly not having points taken off for it capitalized. I think that’s my big beef.

  6. My name is the Internet Man. Since that is my name, a proper noun, I have capitalized it. The word internet is not a proper noun, fool. As you can see, I just called you a fool but it is not a proper noun since that is not your name. I could tell you to read a newspaper at the park but if I told you to read the New York Times at Jefferson Park then I would need to use capitalization. The internet is not a specific place just as the newpaper is not a specific paper. Your professor was right and if I had a snotty know-it-all for a student I would have given you a lower grade than he did.

  7. The Internet is NOT a proper noun? Really? You sure about that?

    My professor is actually not a PhD yet, he’s a TA. I have, however, discussed this with English professors who happen to agree with me. In addition, you will find many, many, many sources both in print and on the Internet to concur. Finally, I’m on the dean’s list of my college. Snotty? Maybe. Smart? Definitely.

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