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We are losing the war on capitalization

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
There is a growing tide of young people that have purposely abandoned capitalization. When asked why, responses tend to be that it is more casual, cool or otherwise hip. Laziness does not seem to be a big factor, according to them. I have seen some even spend additional time and effort to revert capitalizations when Microsoft Word automatically caps letters for them! This, I cannot abide. Capitals (or majuscules in typography) make reading a paragraph much easier by making the beginning of each sentence easier to identify. The use of only one case, whether it be upper or lower, renders a large block of text mind-numbing and excruciating to read.
post #2 of 33
Obviously online this is very common, but I refuse to believe that anyone, no matter how young, stupid, or "independent", would submit to a teacher, publication, or boss something with improper capitalization. I personally always write emails with proper caps and punctuation, leading lots of people to crack jokes at my expense. Personally, I like the German Method of capitalizing all the Nouns in a Sentence, proper or not, as it lets You judge which Words are the most important.
post #3 of 33
Harder reading is a small price to pay to maintain the unity of the lowercase letters.
post #4 of 33
I like the '60s typefaces where they would type everything in this vaguely Moderne capital font.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
There is a growing tide of young people that have purposely abandoned capitalization. When asked why, responses tend to be that it is more casual, cool or otherwise hip. Laziness does not seem to be a big factor, according to them. I have seen some even spend additional time and effort to revert capitalizations when Microsoft Word automatically caps letters for them!

This, I cannot abide. Capitals (or majuscules in typography) make reading a paragraph much easier by making the beginning of each sentence easier to identify. The use of only one case, whether it be upper or lower, renders a large block of text mind-numbing and excruciating to read.

With the prevalence of MSN and other IM clients today, I'm just waiting for smileys and emoticons to start making it in to written assignments. They provide a short-cut to properly flushing-out your thoughts and I'm betting that the level of written work will only drop in the future.
post #6 of 33
well if e e cummings did it then so shall i playa!
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
In order of increasing formality we have: IM, IRC, forum posts, blogs, emails, websites, papers. I have slowly seen lowercase-only creep steadily across these media, now to the point that half the personal blogs that I see -- aside from the content being mindless drivel to begin with -- are in all lowercase. Aside from the SuperFuture crowd that we have on these forums, there are a handful of older posters who make otherwise intelligent comments but style them without capitals. Matadorpoeta and globetrotter, I'm looking in your direction. As GQgeek says, it is only a matter of time until lowercase-only takes over all forms of writing. This is surely evidence of insipid social decay.
post #8 of 33
i rarely capitalize when internet talking...primarily because i cant be bothered to reach over for the shift key
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
i rarely capitalize when internet talking...primarily because i cant be bothered to reach over for the shift key
yeah I am the same - and I dOnT kNoW hOw tHoSe SuPeRfUtUrEz kids do it On a similar note to Kent's OP, I am firstly guilty of avoiding caps on here - I know one time I forwarded J some professional correspondence of mine and he remarked that he was surprised to see that my keyboard has both caps and punctuation....however yesterday I received an email from a pretty large ad agency in Singapore which was completely business related and had absolutely no caps, including the full name of our regional CEO. Her name, all lower case, job title all lower case (media executive), even her company name - which was an acronym - had all the letters in lower case. It looked horridly unprofessional. Damn ad people.
post #10 of 33
I personally will usually (but not always) use capitalization when it comes to forum posts, but almost never over IM, it just strikes me as weird when people use perfect grammar and punctuation on IMs.
post #11 of 33
I use caps and punctuation and proper grammar for everything. Including text messages. Well, I do resort to incomplete sentences from time to time.

I figure - once you get out of the habit of proofreading your work, God only know what you'll let get out the door and onto your boss's desk.
post #12 of 33
That's not the only war, we're losing.
post #13 of 33
I think the biggest problem is that in the past, our first exposure to writing has always been the classroom. For kids growing up today it still is, but IM and text messages soon follow so they start learning bad habits from a very young age. When you couple this phenomenon to the fact that nobody reads anymore, writing standards can only go downhill. They're going to absorb what they're exposed to the most, and unfortunately that means truncated sentences, intentionally misspelled words, and a complete lack of punctuation and capitalization.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Kipling
That's not the only war, we're losing.

Is that the war on drugs, or the war on poverty? Or maybe the war on non-sequiturs?
post #15 of 33
Ok, I'll confess - worse than capitalization - it's all the excess words that kill me! People who write or speak for mass consumption seem to opt for quantity over quality. Has anyone not read Hemingway lately?

On Monday, we closed early for the weather. I asked someone to do up a brief script for a phone message. After three lines of clearing his throat, he eventually meandered to his point, which was - please call tomorrow.
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