From Erlends paper

The term „semantic web‟ was coined by the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, who is also the director of W3C, and refers to a web of data designed to make machines understand the semantics of information on the World Wide Web.

Semantics refers to the meaning of a sentence, while the syntax of a sentence refers to the grammatical content. An example would be the difference between the sentences “I love trains” and “I  trains”. The semantics of the sentence is the same, but the syntax has been altered.

The vision for the semantic web is that everything is connected through the web of data, and to let the data on the web be interpreted and understood by machines without human direction.