The Internet is something that all of us use almost every day (well, if you’re on this blog, you probably do!). And I’m not going to patronise you by telling you what the Internet is, because again, if you’re on this blog, you probably already have a fairly good idea about what it is, what it does and all that.
However, as a wordsmith I’m always fascinated by the origins of a word, and I was keen to discover the etymology (we’ll look at that word another week, perhaps?) of a very modern word, so I thought that Internet might be a good word to take a look at!
Modern words are interesting, because they don’t tend to derive from other languages as such, but more from other English words and terms. Quite often, especially in the case of the word Internet, the word represents a shift, or change, perhaps technologically or culturally. I guess that you could describe this best as a “natural progression” in modern language.
The word Internet derives from the words “international” and “arpanet“.
Arpanet stands for “Advanced Research Projects Agency network“, and was the world’s first method of switching networks, making it a precursor to the Internet as we know it today. It was originally used for research purposes, especially within laboratories and universities in America, and was financed by the US Ministry of Defence.
The term “Internet” was first coined in around 1974 and shows a change in what the advanced networks were being used for, as they shifted from being tools for research, to a method of connecting networks on a much grander scale.