Sunday, February 06, 2011

'Can You Explain What Internet Is?'

By now you've probably seen this clip of the "Today" show in 1994, where Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel and Elizabeth Vargas try in vain to understand what the Internet is.

What caught my ear was how Couric sounds clueless by dropping the "the" from "the Internet."

It's the exact opposite of how we're accustomed to mocking old and/or technically challenged people. Usually we accuse them of always ADDING "the"; e.g. "the AIDS," "the Google."

I guess it works both ways.

UPDATE: This is probably more top-of-mind for me because I just saw "The Social Network," but dropping "the" is a plot point in the movie as well.

The way the film tells it, the biggest contribution of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) is persuading Mark Zuckerberg to remove "the" from Facebook's original name. (Well, that, and telling him to move to California.)