A quick reminder on Netiquette---ALL CAPS

This is a reminder to be reposted every few years.

If you are new to the internet or electronic age in general, one of the basic rules of communication is to keep your "caps lock" key in the off position. Use "mixed case" when writing---the style you learned in elementary school (using a capital letter only to start a sentence or to mark a proper noun). Avoid use of all capital letters (or all lowercase, for that matter).

Why care about this rule? Some people are in a hurry, so why not use all capital letters to blog, comment, send emails, or the like?

First, it is more difficult to read something written in all capital letters. There is a reason the Greeks switched from all caps (majuscules) to a mixture of case (minuscules): to make what is written easier to read. Wikipedia has this piece of insight:
However, the shapes of words set in lowercase provide a valuable cue to readers that helps speed the process of reading; type in all caps forms a rectangular shape for every word, which makes distinguishing words harder. As a result, text in all caps is not widely used in body copy, as it is difficult to read in extended passages.
Second, all-uppercase-writing bears a naturally "stronger" tone, and is used to convey intense emotion. More simply put, all-caps LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING. Rather than all-caps, use either *asterisks* or, in our modern era, bold fonts for emphasis; avoid use of all capital letters.

Both of these reasons should be a concern to anyone writing a quick note or writing a full-length blog-post. Presumably, you will want both to create an ease of reading and to convey the right emotions in your writing.

That is, unless you are so stuffy that you think people are lazy to not want to read your all-caps messages---and, in such a case, you probably have little of value to contribute anyway. :-)

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