Another Editing Gripe

Is this a website, a web site, or a Web site?  My opinion unfortunately differs from that of the Chicago Manual of Style (aka Big Orange Bible).  That esteemed reference work recommends “Web site.” 

Why?  Who decided that “Web” should be capitalized?  It’s not the name of a business.  Capitalizing it is like writing “City park,” “Local school,” or “Forest habitat.” 

Having learned this rule, I’m now noticing “Web site” all over the place, with the capital Ws no doubt inserted by BOB-enslaved copyeditors. 

Language geeks ought to rise up in protest.

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16 thoughts on “Another Editing Gripe

  1. The Bear has decided that this matter is far too trivial to spend much time agonizing over.  However, since you brought it up, “web site”  is the proper format.

  2. Where can I find out what Associated Press style is?  I need to know.  This is a website.  And even if it is a web site, it certainly and definitely is not a Web site, unless it’s a Web Site, or perhaps a “Web Site”.  Web site is awful.  Awful awful awful awful.  You might as well write World Wide Web site.  Or, a construction I prefer:  a site on the World Wide Web.

  3. It should be “website”.  Capitalizing it doesn’t make any sense.  Making it one word means it’s a website, not a site for spider webs, or webs of intrigue, or any other kind of webs.  I think you ought to toss BOB out and write a book of your own rules.  You could call it the BIG BUNNY BOOK of Rules and Regulations.

  4. Now, I’m okay with Internet. There’s only one of them. It’s like the Grand Canyon as opposed to that grand canyon down the street which is very pretty but not THE Grand Canyon. (And we don’t capitalize intranet because there are many…) So Web site implies there’s only one to me.  I don’t like website one word. There are all kinds of sites and all kinds of webs. A web site is just one of many. My techie client’s style guides generally say “web site” btw.   As an aside, a friend of mine pointed out that WWW is the only abbreviation he could think of that has more syllables than what it’s abbreviating (world wide web), 9 syllables as opposed to 3. So logic obviously has no place here. It is quicker to type but when I speak it I now say “dub dub dub” (not to be confused with dubya).

  5. I also vote for website.  What does the dictionary say about that? I think the common people with our common useage can overpower the grammar snobs in the upper echelons of linguistic correctness – they are not known for their muscle. 

  6. The idea seems to treat the “Web” as a place rather than as technology. (Which is not an uncommon way to envision it.)  So shortening “World Wide Web site” is arguably like calling a “North Dakota landmark” a “Dakota landmark.”  Personally, I think it’s more like calling a television show a “Television show.”

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