keyboard with all capital letters

you may have noticed that the website and new posts all lack capitalization.

i’ll explain. 

i’ve seen several books written with no capitalization. most of them translations of the dao de jing. 

my first exposure to communication with no capitalization was on the appalachian trail. contact information is exchanged when you get hiking partners and text messages naturally ensue. one contact was messaging in lower case exclusively. i thought it odd.

about two years elapsed. i subscribed to another hiker’s mailing list and his emails were absent capitalization. it was unnerving, but only for the reason of “that’s not right.”

this caused me to stop and think about why we even have capital letters. the rules for their use are often non-standardized and conflicting across different writing guides. for example, i noticed that the colorado trail databook capitalized all the words that were compass directions. if the word was east or northwest, it was capitalized regardless of its use or context. i was taught something completely different. compass directions. rules exist for a reason, right? right??

so, i did what any respectable toddler would do: i asked myself, “why?” why even use capitalization?

the final answer i got back was, “i don’t know.” my conclusion was it serves no real purpose. (two letter state abbreviations may be an exception.) it causes confusion and division (something for people to argue over). i realize the irony is that people could argue over my statement that it causes people to argue. anyway, in my effort to simplify, i have jettisoned it. i find that reading without capitals is less distracting. i also enjoy typing without having to use the stupid shift key. 

i now fall firmly in the camp of, if your writing communicates clearly, the formatting, and any other arbitrary english rule absolutely, unequivocally doesn’t matter. throw the style guides completely out the window. they can’t agree on how things are done anyway.

Published On: 2022 August 16

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