IN DEFENSE OF ALL CAPS

I LIKE RULES THAT GOVERN SENTENCE STRUCTURE AND WRITING. “MAKE EVERY WORD TELL.” “WRITE ACTIVELY.” “WRITE IT AS LONG AS IT NEEDS TO BE AND AS SHORT AS IT CAN BE.” THESE MAXIMS ARE REDUCTIVE, BUT THEY SERVE AS POWERFUL REMINDERS. I LIVE FOR THIS SHIT.

AS A RULE, THOUGH, ALL RULES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. I HOLD A SPECIAL GRUDGE AGAINST RULES THAT DICTATE STYLE, GRAMMAR, AND SPELLING – THE ONES YOU HEARD IN ENGLISH CLASS. “DON’T USE ADVERBS.” “NEVER END A SENTENCE WITH A PREPOSITION.” “YOU ARE TO NEVER SPLIT AN INFINITIVE.” THE REASONS BEHIND THESE AREN’T SELF-EVIDENT AND NEVER GET DIVULGED, WHICH IS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING “THE REASONS BEHIND THESE ARE COMPLETE BULLSHIT.” SOME OF THEM ARE DOWNRIGHT RIDICULOUS. THE OLD “I BEFORE E” ADAGE IS DEFIED MORE THAN IT IS FOLLOWED. HERE’S A GOOD SET OF PRINCIPLES. IF A RULE IS SO APPARENT THAT IT MAKES YOU THINK “WELL, DUH!”, IT IS PROFOUND. IF A RULE GETS PLOPPED IN YOUR LANGUAGE TEXTBOOK WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T FOLLOW IT.

MLA. APA. CHICAGO. THE CHOICE IS YOURS WHEN IT COMES TO STYLE GUIDE. IF I MAY BE ENTITLED TO JUST ONE STERN ASSERTION, IT WOULD BE THIS: DON’T BASE YOUR RULES FOR GRAMMAR ON A FUCKING INTERNET FORUM’S ADVICE.

Lowercase yourself before you defeat yourself.
LOWERCASE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU DEFEAT YOURSELF.
WHY WOULD YOU SHUT DOWN AN ENTIRE POTENTIAL DISCUSSION FOR SOMETHING SO PETTY?  JUST TELL HIM TO HOLD OUT HIS WRISTS.
WHY WOULD YOU SHUT DOWN AN ENTIRE POTENTIAL DISCUSSION FOR SOMETHING SO PETTY? JUST TELL HIM TO HOLD OUT HIS WRIST AND SLAP HIM.

SOME BACKSTORY: THE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS INDICATES SHOUTING TO SOME PEOPLE BECAUSE… ERR… THAT’S A CURIOUS CONCLUSION, ISN’T IT? THE LETTERS ARE BIGGER. AS THE WORD “I” DEMONSTRATES, CAPITALS MEAN IMPORTANCE. I SUPPOSE IT FOLLOWS THAT THEY TRANSLATE TO LOUDNESS. THIS BEHAVIOR DATES BACK TO THE EARLY DAYS OF THAT ACCURSED INTERNET. BOLD AND ITALICS DIDN’T EXIST TO DEMONSTRATE EMPHASIS. CAPITALIZATION WAS USED AS A LAST RESORT.

IT’S INTERESTING THAT COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE USE OF ALL CAPS HAS GAINED STRIDE NOW. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE HAS SHOWN EXPONENTIAL GROWTH RECENTLY? THE INTERNET. YOUR GRANDMA WATCHES HER NEWS PROGRAMS ONCE EVERY DAY, AND SHE’LL BE DAMNED IF SHE DOESN’T FIGURE OUT THIS FACEDBOOK THING ONCE AND FOR ALL.

NOW HOW DO I GET ONTO FIBERSPACE?
“NOW HOW DO I GET ONTO FIBERSPACE?” [9]
SOMEHOW THE “CAPITALS = SHOUTING” UNDERSTANDING IS INGRAINED IN OUR COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS AT THIS POINT. MAYBE WE GET THE PICTURE AFTER SEEING A FEW “FUCK YOU!!!”S AND A FEW MORE “GO AWAY!!”S. MAYBE IT’S AS SIMPLE AS SIZE BEGETTING SIGNIFICANCE. I’M NO SOCIOLOGIST. WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT YOUR TENDER GRANDMOTHER AND YOUR CHURCH PASTOR DON’T WANT TO FEEL LIKE THEY’RE BEING SHOUTED AT.

TWENTY YEARS AGO, THE INTERNET WAS NO MAN’S LAND. NOW, IT’S FAIR GAME. YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT FINDING PEOPLE WHO’LL COMPLAIN ABOUT WHATEVER IT IS YOU SAID. PEOPLE EXPECT THE SAME DEGREE OF COURTESY THEY SEE IN THE REAL WORLD. PEOPLE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN A YOUTUBE COMMENT AND A VERBAL CHIT OR CHAT AS MEDIA. THIS IN ITSELF IS A HUGE POINT OF CONTENTION FOR ME. TO DO ANYTHING WELL, YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE CONTEXT IN WHICH YOU’RE DOING IT. ART RELIES ON THE MEDIUM IN WHICH IT IS PERFORMED. IF YOU’RE MUCKING UP THE DISQUS AND THE TUMBLR WITH TRANSCRIBED CONVERSATIONS YOU ENVISIONED YOURSELF SAYING ALOUD, HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO CHURN OUT A GREAT PIECE OF WRITING? I’M NOT SAYING YOU NEED TO BE OF THE QUALITY OF JOYCE… OR HEMINGWAY… OR PROUST… OR WHICHEVER STOCK AUTHOR YOU ADMIRE… WHEN YOU REPLY TO A COMMENT. I’M SAYING YOU SHOULD STRIVE FOR GOODNESS IN ALL THINGS. IF YOU PRETEND LIKE YOU’RE TALKING TO SOMEONE IN AN OBVIOUSLY TEXTUAL MEDIUM, YOU’RE ASKING TO BE BUTT-FUCKED. IF THIS DIDN’T APPLY TO IMS, WE WOULDN’T USE EMOTICONS. IF THIS DIDN’T APPLY TO BLOG POSTS, WE WOULDN’T ALLOW AUDIO-VISUAL AIDS. IF THIS DIDN’T APPLY TO THE LAST E-MAIL YOU SENT, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE APPLIED A SIGNATURE TO THE END OF IT. THESE AREN’T TALKING. DON’T TREAT THEM THAT WAY.

EXAMPLE: AUDIO-VISUAL AID.
EXAMPLE: AUDIO-VISUAL AID.

THAT MAY BE INTENDED AS AN ASIDE, BUT I HOPE IT LEADS TO THE KEY BACKGROUND INFORMATION HERE. EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER IS TAKING EFFORTS TO PREVENT “EGREGIOUS” CAPITALIZATION, AND NOW HER MOTHER IS GETTING IN ON THE FUN. A WOMAN WAS FIRED IN 2007 BECAUSE THOSE KRAZY KIWIS THOUGHT SHE WAS TOO PASSIONATE ABOUT PROPER STAFF CLAIM PROCESSION.[2] THAT IS AN ACTUAL SUPPORTING PIECE OF EVIDENCE USED IN MASHABLE’S NONSENSICAL ANTI-CAPS LOCK CRUSADE. THE WAY THE ARTICLE READS SUGGESTS THAT THEY ACTUALLY THINK THIS WOMAN WAS ASKING FOR IT! THE FREAKING U.S. NAVY HAD TO INSTALL NEW SOFTWARE JUST TO CLEANSE THEMSELVES OF THIS SCOURGE.[3] THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SIGNED UP TO STEER THEIR GIGANTIC BOATS INTO BULLETS OR SIT AROUND REPAIRING SUBMARINES FOR WEEKS AND MONTHS AND YEARS FOUND CAPITALIZATION TO BE A LITTLE MUCH. BACKWARDS COWARDS HAVE REDEFINED ACCEPTABLE INTERNET ETIQUETTE.

PEOPLE ARE SHELTERED. THEY CAN’T STAND THE THOUGHT OF BEING YELLED AT. GOD FORBID THEIR STIRRUP MAY BE SHATTERED BY THE CRISP THWaKaTTaK OF CILIA AGAINST MEMBRANE![1]

…OH WAIT, THIS IS FUCKING TEXT. YOU CAN’T HEAR ANY OF THIS.

TO BE CLEAR, I’M NOT DEFENDING THE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS IN TITLES OR HEADINGS, NOR IN ACRONYMS. NO TROOPS HAVE MOBILIZED AGAINST THOSE. I’M ALSO NOT TALKING ABOUT CAPITALS THAT SERVE A PURPOSE OTHER THAN INDICATING A PERSON IS SHOUTING, AS IN THE ESSAYS OF FILM CRIT HULK[4] OR THE COMMENTS OF A DISHONEST DINOBOT[5]..

NETIQUETTE IS A PROBABLY-TERRIBLE WEBSITE WHOSE SECOND RULE ASSERTS (BUT DOES NOT JUSTIFY (WELL)) THE USE OF ALL CAPS IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE[6]. I CAN’T SAY FOR CERTAIN THAT IT’S A WIKIA MADE BY A MIDDLE-AGED DAD THE FORTNIGHT HE GOT HIS SMARTPHONE, BUT THE FACT THAT IT HAS SIX PAGES DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR FUTURE EDITIONS OF ITS ENCYCLOPAEDIA..

WELCOME TO NETIQUETTE, HOME OF MEMES SO OUTDATED THEY WERE NEVER DATED IN.
WELCOME TO NETIQUETTE, HOME OF MEMES SO OUTDATED THEY WERE NEVER DATED IN.

THE ARTICLE EXACTLY READS: “Shouting breaks the standard level of volume and tone, a voice should carry, to force someone into doing something. This is not socially acceptable in a civilized society because it is a use of force not reason.” (THOSE AMONG YOU WHO HAVE SCORED ABOVE A 500 ON THEIR SATS WILL NOTE THAT WHOEVER WROTE THIS USED COMMAS AS IF HE WERE TRYING TO MAKE HIS USAGE SEEM AS RANDOM AS POSSIBLE – “GEE, IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I HIT THE KEY… OR SHOULD I GO LONGER SO NO ONE WILL THINK I’M TRYING TO MAKE THIS LOOK CONVINCING?”)

SOME OF YOU WILL ASK WHY WE CAN’T JUST GET ALONG. IF PEOPLE GET UPSET BY THIS, SURELY IT’S O.K. TO FREE THEM OF FRETTING. WHY MUST THEY BRAVE THE TURGID WATERS OF INFERRED INTERNET RUDENESS? IT’S NOT LIKE CAPITALIZATION ADDS ANYTHING, AND SOME PEOPLE THINK IT TAKES AWAY. CAN’T WE DO AWAY WITH IT FOR THEIR COMFORT?

CAPITALIZATION HAS TAKEN ON A LIFE OF ITS OWN. TO ELIMINATE IT NOW WOULD BE TO CLAMP IT DOWN AS IT NEARED ITS MID-TWENTIES AND CASTRATE IT. WHO WOULD WANT TO ELIMINATE A VIABLE QUIRK – NAY, A MEANS – OF COMMUNICATION? THIS IS THE CRUX OF THIS DEBATE.

BEFORE HE LONGED TO FUCK A HORSE, NIETZSCHE WROTE ANOTHER RULE. “The richness of life reveals itself through a richness of gestures. One must learn to feel everything — the length and retarding of sentences, interpunctuations, the choice of words, the pausing, the sequence of arguments — like gestures.”[7]

THIS IS A GOOD ONE. IT APPLIES EXACTLY TO OUR CURRENT CURMUDGEON CONUNDRUM. NAYSAYERS HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THERE IS A REASON FOR CAPITALIZATION. PUNCTUATION IS A BEAUTIFUL THING, AND OF ALL THE PRINCIPLE MARKS, NONE CAN BE REMOVED. NONE.

Not bad, considering.

THAT’S ANOTHER RULE. “NEVER USE SEMICOLONS.” VONNEGUT CALLED THEM HERMAPHRODITE TRANSVESTITES, OR MAYBE IT WAS THE OTHER WAY AROUND. IT’S A PUNCTUATION ONE, SO YOU KNOW IT’S SHITE. THE SEMICOLON IS PERFECT. IT’S UNIQUE. SURE, IT CAN OFTEN BE SUPPLANTED BY SOME COMBINATION OF COMMAS, PERIODS, AND CONJUNCTIONS – BUT WHY WOULD YOU EVER WANT TO? CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING TWO EXAMPLES.”

“THERE IS NO DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. MATTER OF FACT, IT’S ALL DARK.”

“THERE IS NO DARK SIDE OF THE MOON; MATTER OF FACT, IT’S ALL DARK.”

YES, I’M SQUEEZING PINK FLOYD INTO THIS MESS. THIS WAS SPOKEN DURING ONE OF THEIR SONGS. WHICH DO YOU THINK MORE ACCURATELY DEPICTS THE SPEAKER’S PAUSES? THE LATTER IS THE TICKET. THE SPEAKER’S PAUSE – THAT IS, THE WAY HE PUNCTUATES HIS SENTENCE – IS ESSENTIAL TO HIS MEANING. IF HIS OBSERVATION WERE WRITTEN, HE’D BE BEST OFF USING A SEMICOLON. IT CREATES A PAUSE IN SOUND WITHOUT A BREACH IN LOGICAL FLOW. HIS IDEAS ARE SO CONNECTED THAT PERFORATING THEM LIKE SO PRODUCES A MORE DESIRABLE FLOW.

YOU CAN ARGUE SEVERAL MARKS OF PUNCTUATION – EM DASHES, PARENTHESES, COLONS, ELLIPSES, TILDES – CAN BE DONE AWAY WITH ALL TOGETHER, BUT EACH HAS THEIR ESSENTIAL PLACE IN A TOP-QUALITY PIECE OF WRITING. (SOMETIMES, THEY MIGHT BE ABSENT. THEY MIGHT HAVE NO USE AT ALL.) ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE TRUE USE OF A MARK OF PUNCTUATION REALIZES THIS. THEY EXIST TO SERVE WRITING, TO GIVE IT THE PROGRESSION IT SEEKS. THEY AREN’T RED TAPE THAT DEMANDS WRITERS DUCK UNDERNEATH. SOMEHOW, I EXPECT THE BRILLIANT PHILOLOGIST WHO STUCK EM DASHES IN EVERY ORIFICE HE COULD FIND REALIZED THIS AND SAW THIS DICHOTOMY WHEN HE CALLED THINGS LIKE PUNCTUATION “GESTURES.” THEY ARE THE FLAIR THAT MUST BE WORKED TO GIVE WRITING VIVACITY, NOT FORM.

YOU'RE A RIGHT PIECE OF WORK, YOU PIECE OF WORK.
YOU’RE A RIGHT PIECE OF WORK, YOU PIECE OF WORK.

AGAIN WITH THE ESSENTIAL TANGENTS. NIETZSCHE WAS A GENIUS WRITER, BUT HE WAS NO PROPHET. HE COULD NOT HAVE SEEN WHAT HORRORS THE INTERNET AGE WOULD BRING WITH IT: ITALICIZING AND EMBOLDENING TEXT WILLY-NILLY. THESE FALL IN THE SAME VEIN AS WHAT NIETZSCHE DESCRIBED. THEY ARE OTHER KINDS OF “GESTURES.” YOU MIGHT SUGGEST THESE AS A SUITABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR CAPS LOCK, BUT THEREIN LAYS ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

LET’S LOOK AT ITALIC, UNDERLINED, AND BOLD TEXT BY THEMSELVES FOR NOW. LET’S ASSUME YOU WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE WORD “BELIEVES” IN THE SENTENCE BELOW.

“STYLE OUGHT TO PROVE THAT ONE BELIEVES IN AN IDEA.”

WHAT IF WE UNDERLINE THE TEXT?

“STYLE OUGHT TO PROVE THAT ONE BELIEVES IN AN IDEA.”

THAT’S NOT QUITE RIGHT. IT’S TOO SCHOLARLY. WHAT WE WANT IS AN INFORMAL “THIS IS SIGNIFICANT!” MARKER. AS IT IS, IT’S AS THOUGH WE’RE SINGLING OUT THE DENOTATION OF THE WORD.

“STYLE OUGHT TO PROVE THAT ONE BELIEVES IN AN IDEA.”

THAT SORT OF READS LIKE A KEYWORD IN A TEXTBOOK, TOO; OR PERHAPS YOUR INTERPRETATION IS THAT IT’S GIVING THE WORD MORE WEIGHT. I WOULDN’T AGREE WITH THE LATTER. WE WANT TO MAKE “BELIEVES” A BLUNT OBJECT BY ADDING SOME KIND OF EMPHASIS. AS IT STANDS, WE’RE GIVING IT MORE WEIGHT. WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS USE IT MORE CLEVERLY. WE WANT TO SWING HARDER WITH IT AND HIT WITH ITS SWEET SPOT. BOLD DOESN’T DO THAT.

“STYLE OUGHT TO PROVE THAT ONE BELIEVES IN AN IDEA.”

AYE, NOW THERE’S THE KEY. IT’S NOT A TECHNICAL INDICATOR OR A BRUTISH LEVERAGE-GAINER; IT’S A SLY, CALCULATED ASSERTOR. IT’S WHAT WE WANT.

IF YOU’RE NOT GETTING THE SUBTLE CHANGES I’M PLAYING AT, I’LL PROVIDE ONE MORE EXAMPLE.

“I HATE MONDAYS.”

“I HATE MONDAYS.”

THINK ABOUT HOW YOU READ EACH OF THOSE LINES DIFFERENTLY IN YOUR MIND’S EYE (EAR?). SAY THEM ALOUD IF YOU MUST. THE FIRST ONE IS A STERN, BRUSQUE TELLING. THE SECOND IS A QUICK, POPUP “HATE” THAT GETS TO THE POINT. IT’S THE MORE GENIAL OPTION. IT ISN’T AS RUTHLESS IN THE WAY IT CARRIES ITSELF. IT ENSURES A PERSON IT’S HONEST, IN A BREEZY, ALMOST CHARISMATIC WAY. IF THESE WERE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, BOLD TEXT WOULD WALK AROUND WITH A TANK-TOP SHIRT AND HAVE TWO HEADS OF HEIGHT AND FIVE ARMS OF WIDTH ON EVERYONE ELSE. ITALICS WOULD BE SKILLED AT PERSUASION AND WOULD STRUT WISTFULLY IN A LEATHER JACKET.

CAPS LOCK IS IN THE SAME GODDAMN BOAT.

“I HATE Mondays.”

IT’S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT INTONATION. IT’S A “HAAAATE.” IT DRAGS LONGER THAN BOLD, BUT NOT IN THE SAME WAY AS ITALICS. WHEN YOU “HATE” (CAPITALS!) SOMETHING, YOU SHOUT. YOU DON’T INSIST. IT’S EITHER YIPPED OR DRAGGED OUT, LIKE YOUR WORDS HAVE BEEN DRUG INTO THE DIRT. WHICH YOU MEAN IS USUALLY APPARENT ON THE CONTEXT. SOMETIMES, YOU NEED A LITTLE VOLUME TO YOUR VOICE TO ASSERT ITS GRAVITY. BOLD, ITALIC, AND UNDERLINED TEXT ADD FEELING, NOT AMPLITUDE.

WHY NOT TRY MORE TRADITIONAL VARIANT?

“I hate Mondays!”

NOW THAT’S A LITTLE MORE FAMILIAR. THIS IS THE EXCLAMATION OF THE CHIPPER CHAPPER. IT’S THE WAY YOUR GRANDFATHER WOULD EXPRESS HIS POLITE DISCONTENT. WATCH WHAT HAPPENS, HOWEVER, WHEN I DO THIS TO THAT SAME SENTENCE.

“I HATE MONDAYS!”

WE’RE SCREAMING! THIS IS EVERYTHING A WRITER HAS TO GIVE, UNLESS HE STARTS GETTING CRAZY WITH ITALICS AND EMBOLDENINGS. YOUR READERS KNOW YOU CAN’T SAY THIS ANY LOUDER. YOU’RE FIRED UP! AND YET, MOST INTERESTINGLY, THERE’S THIS OPTION:

“I HATE MONDAYS.”

IMAGINE SEEING THIS ON YOUR TWITTER FEED. HOW WOULD YOU EMPHASIZE IT? IT’D HAVE AN AIR OF IRONY TO IT. IT’D BE AS IF SOMEONE WERE HALF-SHOUTING IT. YOU KNOW THAT WEIRD CONVERSATIONAL “BAAH BAAH BAAH” PEOPLE BETWEEN 13 AND 23 DO? THE ONE WHERE THEY BREATHE LOUDLY TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE THEY’RE YELLING WHEN THEY’RE TELLING A STORY? IT’S AROUND THERE. THERE’S A SHOUT TO IT, BUT ALSO A FLATNESS. THERE’S A GORGEOUS JUXTAPOSITION HERE THAT GIVES ALL CAPS WITH NO EXCLAMATION POINT A PUNCH NO OTHER MEANS OF EMPHASIS HAS. THIS SURPRISING DICHOTOMY PROVES THAT A VARIETY OF CONVERSATIONAL MEANS IS IMPERATIVE.

THERE’S NO REASON THIS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WRONG. SOME PEOPLE GET OFFENDED BY ITS USAGE ON THE INTERNET. ALL RIGHT, FINE. IF THEY’RE OFFENDED – MAYBE THAT WAS THE POINT? MAYBE THE WRITER WANTED TO SHOUT. YOU HAVE TO CRACK EGGS TO GET THEM SCRAMBLED. EMILY POST, THE HEIGHT OF HAUGHTIES, EVEN ADMITS IT’S A VIABLE MEANS TO EXPRESS SHOUTING IN TEXT-BASED CONVERSATION IN MODERATION.[7]

FUCK YOOU

THAT’S AN IMPORTANT REALIZATION WE SHOULD MAKE BEFORE WE CLOSE. YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO USE CAPS LOCK WELL AS AN ELEMENT TO USE IT APPROPRIATELY. YOU HAVE TO HEAR, VIVIDLY, THE CHANGES IN PITCH OF WHOEVER YOU INTEND TO SPEAK IF THEY’D SAID THIS REGULARLY. ANYONE CAN SCREAM AN ANGRY RETORT TO THEIR FRIEND TO TELL THEM ABOUT HOW SKYFALL IS WAY BETTER THAN KINGSMAN. IT TAKES TALENT TO KNOW WHEN TO SWITCH TO BOLD, ITALIC, AND ROMAN TEXT. WHEN THESE COMPONENTS ARE PROPERLY USED, WE GIVE EACH OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATIONS THE KICK THAT MAKES THEM REALLY SING.

SAY, WHO WROTE THAT “STYLE PROVES BELIEF” BULLSHIT, ANYWAY?

OH COME THE FUCK ON.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, NIETZSCHE’S FULL RULE WAS:

“Style ought to prove that one believes in an idea; not only that one thinks it but also feels it.”

THAT’S WHAT A CLEVER COMBINATION OF ITALICS, UNDERLINES, EXCLAMATION POINTS, EMBOLDENINGS, AND, YES, CAPITALIZATIONS, ARE CAPABLE OF! THEY GIVE PRECISE EMPHASIS WHEREVER A WRITER CHOOSES. THEY GIVE HIM FREE REIGN OVER ALL THE WAYS HE CAN EXPRESS HIMSELF. WHERE WOULD WE BE IF OUR LANGUAGE DIDN’T ALLOW US TO WRITE HOWEVER WE LIKED? WE WOULD HAVE NO PASSION. WE WOULD HAVE NO CREATIVITY. WE WOULD HAVE NO ARGUMENT, NO COMPELLING STORYTELLING, NO EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. WE WOULD HAVE NO JOYCE, HEMINGWAY, PROUST, FITZGERALD, AUSTEN, HERBERT – WHOEVER! WE WOULD HAVE NO ART!

I’LL ADMIT, ACCUSING PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER NONSTANDARD CAPITALIZATION AS CULTURE-KILLERS TENDS TOWARD EXTREMIST, BUT I DON’T THINK IT’S ENTIRELY OUT OF LINE TO MAINTAIN DISDAIN FOR THESE PAINS IN THE DRAIN. THEY ENJOY NO APPRECIATION FOR A BEAUTIFUL QUIRK OF LANGUAGE THANKS TO THEIR OWN STUFFINESS. SOME CONSIDER IT RUDE TO SPEAK IN CAPITAL LETTERS. I CONSIDER IT RUDE TO BOWDLERIZE ENGLISH OUT OF IGNORANCE.

CAPS LOCK IS A TOOL. IF YOU CAN’T USE IT WELL, EITHER LEARN HOW OR JUNK IT. THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD TAKE TOOLS FROM OTHERS. IT ISN’T RUDE, NOR IS IT INTENDED AS RUDE, WHEN SOMEONE TYPES IN CAPITAL LETTERS AT YOU – AT LEAST, NOT ALWAYS. YOU ARE E-LLITERATE (YES THAT’S A PLAY ON “ELECTRONICALLY ILLITERATE” GET IT I’M SO FUCKING CLEVER). IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE DOZENS OF TOOLS A CARPENTER USED TO MAKE A CANOE, THAT’S FINE. IF YOU TRY TO TAKE AWAY HIS POWER SAW, THOUGH, DON’T COME CRYING TO ME WHEN YOU CUT YOUR INDEX FINGER OFF. I’LL JUST LAUGH SMUGLY AND SHOW YOU A DIFFERENT DIGIT OF MY OWN. MAYBE THEN YOU’LL APPRECIATE THE VARIED AND GLORIOUSLY ACCOMMODATING WAYS WE CAN COMMUNICATE.


Footnotes:

[1] I don’t have any medical knowledge. This is all bullshit.

[2] http://mashable.com/2012/08/13/caps-lock-infographic/

[3] http://archive.navytimes.com/article/20130606/NEWS04/306060010/ALL-CAPS-MESSAGES-no-more

[4] http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/01/09/film-crit-hulk-smash-nightcrawler-and-why-movies-dont-need-character-arcs

[5] http://fakegrimlock.com/

[6] http://netiquette.wikia.com/wiki/Rule_number_2_-_Do_not_use_all_caps#comm-2110

[7] http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/08/nietzsches-10-rules-for-writers/

Please read this if you intend to read or write anything else during the remainder of your too-short life.

[8] http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2011/10/19/141480472/a-new-emily-post-for-your-blog-posts

[9] I couldn’t help but confide: my relatives have actually asked me this.

Special thanks to Pete, who told me to get my shit together and revise this.

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