Thursday, May 22, 2008
Caps Lock Dysfunction.
Today's topic, ladies and gentlemen, is the correct usage of the Caps Lock key on your computer's keyboard.
One would think that such a topic would be unnecessary; after all, the when and how to use the Caps Lock key should be basic common sense. Sadly, that isn't the case.
We are all familiar, via chatrooms, text messages and emails, with someone who types everything with the Caps Lock on.Wikipedia says this;
"On Internet chat systems, forums and Usenet, typing a sentence in all capitals is considered rude, the large letters akin to shouting or yelling within the social context. On a more practical level, text written in all capital letters, a result of engaging the caps lock, may be difficult to read. The 'Caps Lock Theory', is often referred to in Internet chat forums and states that there is an inverse relationship between a person's use of the caps lock and their knowledge of a particular subject. There are known groups of people whose Internet communities are based entirely around the use of the caps lock key."
Very little has been written, though, on the writer who, like some ee cummings wannabe, types everything in lower case.I came upon one such writer this morning and I have to say that his use of all lower case letters was very distracting.It was difficult to concentrate on the subject of his blog. I got the idea that he was just too hip, just too cool, just too avant garde.
The third example of Caps Lock Dysfunction may be the most irritating of all. There are people (usually young girls) who actually type alternating upper and lower case letters in the same word. (THis iS ReAlLY ANnoyiNG BeYOnD woRds.)
The motto seems to be,
"If you have nothing worthwhile to say, then alter the rules of grammar, case and/or spelling."
For those of you who are ignorant of the proper use of letter case, this from Wikipedia should help;
"In English, capital letters are used as the first letter of a sentence, a proper noun, or a proper adjective, and for initials or abbreviations. The first person pronoun "I" and the interjection "O" are also capitalised. Lower-case letters are normally used for all other purposes. There are however situations where further capitalisation may be used to give added emphasis, for example in headings and titles or to PICK OUT certain words (often using small capitals)."