Category Archives: Australia

The Internet, or the internet

It was to much consternation that an email went around the office on Friday informing us that for the purpose of all future communications we should align ourselves with the Macquarie dictionary usage of no initial caps for “internet”.

“Surely not!”, many screamed. One UX luminary I’m working with practically fell off his chair. “Why align ourselves to Mickey Mouse Macquarie when everyone else uses initial caps for proper nouns?”, he squwarked.

Funny old thing the evolution of the English language. Personally I’ll be sticking to the Internet, but I always write “websites”, rather than “Websites’ as a colleague I’m collaborating with does.

On such matters I generally resign myself to attempts at consistency rather than get into grammatical jousting – which I’m not really up for the fight for.

Strunk and White must be turning in their graves.

All of which puts me in mind of Stephen Fry‘s excellent podcast on the subject of Language. Well worth a listen.


Far from home

I am a stranger in a strange land (an Englishman living in Australia). Although many things are culturally connected, the two countries are as different as they are the same. I suppose you don’t really notice the similarities so much, but the differences really stand out.

I was doing some work on the categories list of the True Local website yesterday and it highlighted how far away from home I am. Example categories include:

  • Squid jiggler
  • Drug plant growing
  • Dingo hunting or trapping
  • Snake catching
  • Prostitution services

Either illegal, irrelevant or just plain strange, I doubt if any of these appear on the UK’s Yellow Pages.