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The Web Without a Spider

For those who may have missed Ben Zimmer’s article in the NY Times magazine last week about the origins of the term “world wide web”, here’s a link.

Apparently some of the other options for naming the web were “mine of information” and “the information mine”.  The article also speaks of prior literary and scientific allusions to a “world wide web”, one of which raised concerns about a central “spider” monitoring all communications.  I kind of like the idea of the spiderless web we have today, although never thought about the strangeness of referring to a spiderweb without a spider.