Cap Locks… Shouting?
ALL CAPS = Shouting (not a new thing) One of the first things you learn about in a communication is email and internet etiquette. You are told not to type in all caps because a message written in all caps is seen as shouting, and rude. I have heard and read this so many times and I thought by now everyone would know this. But, there are people at work who still type emails with the caps lock on for the entire message. Tim was told not to use caps.. Tim was irritated because someone got offended by his use of all caps. Ted wanted to know why people were so sensitive and he wanted to know who decided that all caps means shouting. Tim thought he was just typing a message with the caps lock on and the capital letters didn’t add any additional meaning to the actual words he was using. From Tim’s perspective, the internet came along and with the internet came email and then later came cell phones and text messages and facebook, and with these new technologies came new spellings and abbreviations of words and phrases. To Tim, the use of all caps to indicate shouting is as new as lol or omg or rofl. I was listening to Ted and not really hearing or caring and I was thinking he needed to just move on. I was thinking about what a dope he was and I wondered how it could be so difficult for him to understand WHY THIS LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING. And then I started to wonder if the use of all caps to indicate shouting really did begin with the widespread use of the internet. It didn’t. People used capital letters to add meaning to their written words before the widespread use of internet and email. In works of fiction, for example, authors used capital letters when their character was shouting in the dialogue. I have a book here on my desk that was published in 1982 and there are phrases written in all capital letters to indicate excitement or shouting.So we need to maintain our politeness when emailing people or texting in general, keep our wonderful language alive.