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How would I refer to 'the web' or 'Internet' in Latin?

Many words to describe the internet are just reapplied from other objects (e.g. 'page' from a book or 'site' as in a location). Translating these is pretty straightforward (page is just pagina). But is there a word to use to specifically describe the internet (e.g. to say 'web page' or 'page of the web')?

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    There is already a question about "website". Would it make sense to narrow this one down to just web pages? – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 3 '18 at 17:31
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    Vicipaedia uses pagina to describe a page on their website. I did just some minor searching and I am a bit surprised that there is no accepted term for a website already... – Sam K Mar 3 '18 at 17:57
  • @jpyams How you choose to redefine the question is your call. Webpage, internet, net, web, and many other words make good questions, but I wouldn't lump them all together. – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 3 '18 at 19:46
  • Immediate thoughts are "tela" and "interreta" but I don't remember where those are from – Draconis Mar 3 '18 at 22:17
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The word I have always used and often seen in use for the internet is interrete. The third declension neuter rete means "net". A rete can be used for catching animals or fighting on the arena.

The prefix inter- is of course of Latin origin, so it makes sense to translate "inter-net" as inter-rete. By analogy to the ancient net-fighter, I like calling internet users interretiarii. Another natural derivative is the adjective interretialis, which can be used to describe a "web page", pagina interretialis. The page in this context is clearly an extension of the page of a book, and pagina is the perfect word for that purpose.

If you want to refer to a network other than the internet, one option is nexus. That word is often used as a translation for "link", though, so it might be confusing. Perhaps the best general word for "network" or "web" is simply rete.

One option is to use the word tela (a spider's web), but I prefer interrete because the prefix reminds of the same word in other languages, whereas tela can be harder to grasp if you have never heard it before. As always with technology, there is no single canonical correct translation to Latin.

  • There was a vogue some years ago for the abbreviation 'ttt', to be used instead of 'www', though I believe it came to nothing. It stood for either tela totius telluris or tela totius terrae, according to your fancy. – Tom Cotton Mar 4 '18 at 22:31
  • @TomCotton I think I was taught at some point that the world wide web and the internet were two different things, so I do not know if ttt and interrete synonyms exactly. – Sam K Mar 5 '18 at 3:04
  • @Sam K Both 'www' and 'ttt' mean(t) 'world wide web'. We all seem to use 'web' and 'net' interchangeably nowadays as shorthand for 'internet' and, if there really be a technical distinction, I have the impression that it's disappeared among lay users. I used to call my own, long-defunct website a locus intextus, which was posted on the interrete. – Tom Cotton Mar 5 '18 at 6:35
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    @TomCotton: I know the abbreviation ttt from Esperanto, there it means tut-tera teksaĵo (a very similar idea to the Latin one you quote) – jknappen Mar 5 '18 at 11:30
  • @TomCotton Perhaps it is just a technical distinction then. I like both terms, so I guess I was just trying to find a way to preserve them both! If you want to go down that technical rabbit hole, here are the Wikipedia articles on them: Internet & World Wide Web... – Sam K Mar 5 '18 at 23:44

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