) is an ironic
term used to indicate inexperience by intentionally and incorrectly merging the terms 'Internet
' and 'World Wide Web
'. The joke is that many inexperienced users access content on the World Wide Web (or "Web") via the "Internet" without knowing what either is.
The term interweb originated as a response to the ever-increasing influx of inexperienced users to the Internet's forums and chat rooms. Whereas the Internet had previously been the exclusive domain of the tech-savvy, it was now attracting millions of newcomers (newbies) who were now participating in it (often with poor netiquette). Referring to the Internet as the interweb recognizes web 2.0 and social networking now being the domain of the average person, and not the techies of the past.
Writers of the television show Babylon 5
referred to "the interweb" in the 1994 episode "Eyes
". Ironic use of the term caught on in discussion groups related to the show and subsequently spread. Actual erroneous use of the term appears to have been rare; it referred instead to several Internet service providers
and other business ventures during the dot-com boom
. The term entered wider usage following its use on The Simpsons
episode "The Bart Wants What it Wants
" in 2002, as well as extensive use by Jeremy Clarkson
and James May
on Top Gear
and in their various journalism. It's also used in House, M.D.
several times when Dr. Gregory House mocks patients who try to diagnose themselves over the Internet, most commonly getting the diagnosis wrong. In 30 Rock's first season, Tracy Jordan refers to the interweb regularly.