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Capitalization


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Why is capitalization even necessary?  When I type out e-mails to family members I rarely capitalize the first word of any sentence.  It is really pointless to me.  why can't we all just type like this?  is it really that childish?  i don't think so.  it takes less effort and is less time consuming.

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It's how the origin of the language has evolved over time. In order to communicate with others on an international scale, we need to ensure that we follow the same rules and that's convention.

With texting and emails, the notion of having capital letters could very well disappear and that could be how our language evolves in the future.

But personally, I prefer the capitalization standard. Imagine typing in all caps all the time.

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My phone automatically capitalises the first word of a sentence when texting, so that should be no problem to maintain. It would actually take me longer to switch to all lowercase.

Of course, if I'd be lazy and left out all interpunction, then my phone wouldn't know where one sentence ends and the next begins. Then again, also the recipient wouldn't know that and they'd probably think I'm crazy and not worth their time.

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Why is capitalization even necessary?  When I type out e-mails to family members I rarely capitalize the first word of any sentence.  It is really pointless to me.  why can't we all just type like this?  is it really that childish?  i don't think so.  it takes less effort and is less time consuming.

Even in this day and age, I think that capitalization is important as it adds clarity.  It helps to differentiate one sentence from the next, which makes for easier reading.  I also think it's still important for the names of proper nouns as well as for the pronoun "I." 

That said, I do know what you mean about the extra effort it takes.  I'm typing this on a keyboard and to I have to keep hitting the shift key.  It would be easier if I didn't, but I think I'm just so accustomed to it that it's become second nature.

It could very well be that as years go by, the custom of capitalization may diminish although I hope that doesn't happen.  Either that or, we will have keyboards and touch screens that do all of the auto-correcting that we need; even more so than what we have now. 

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I don't find capitalization that pointless. If you start doing away with grammar rules for no reason other than age, then you might as well get rid of other rules that you deem archaic or useless. We might see a shift due to current technology enabling the butchering of the language and its rules, but to me I find something like capitalization just as important as proper punctuation, perfect syntax, and verb conjugation.

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No offense but I don't like the way it looks. When I get an email like this, I just think the writer doesn't know any better or is lazy. I am not saying you're lazy, just sayin'.

I am old-school so I wouldn't mind me. :confused:

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Capitalization serves as barriers between thoughts or sentences. Periods serve as pause. All the fundamental parts of a coherent sentence serve a function that is designed to make understanding them easier. I very much dislike receiving e-mails that are grammatically incomprehensible. I just assume that the sender is too lazy to take me seriously and end up sending a horribly written e-mail.

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Even in this day and age, I think that capitalization is important as it adds clarity.  It helps to differentiate one sentence from the next, which makes for easier reading.  I also think it's still important for the names of proper nouns as well as for the pronoun "I." 

That said, I do know what you mean about the extra effort it takes.  I'm typing this on a keyboard and to I have to keep hitting the shift key.  It would be easier if I didn't, but I think I'm just so accustomed to it that it's become second nature.

It could very well be that as years go by, the custom of capitalization may diminish although I hope that doesn't happen.  Either that or, we will have keyboards and touch screens that do all of the auto-correcting that we need; even more so than what we have now.

But we use periods to separate sentences.  that should be enough.  do you have a difficult time reading these sentences because i stopped capitalizing?  i think the periods suffice to separate the thoughts from one another.

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Capitalization serves as barriers between thoughts or sentences. Periods serve as pause. All the fundamental parts of a coherent sentence serve a function that is designed to make understanding them easier. I very much dislike receiving e-mails that are grammatically incomprehensible. I just assume that the sender is too lazy to take me seriously and end up sending a horribly written e-mail.

No.  Periods separate sentences.  Commas serve as pauses.  You'd hate my e-mails as I'm protesting capitalization and have been going on about twelve years now. 

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I don't find capitalization that pointless. If you start doing away with grammar rules for no reason other than age, then you might as well get rid of other rules that you deem archaic or useless. We might see a shift due to current technology enabling the butchering of the language and its rules, but to me I find something like capitalization just as important as proper punctuation, perfect syntax, and verb conjugation.

I'm advocating eliminating the capitalization of the first word in sentences.  I'm not encouraging everyone to stop using punctuation and grammar rules. It's just this one that bothers me and always has.  And I have a good reason: It is pointless to capitalize the first word in a sentence.  The period, exclamation point and semi-colon separate sentences/thoughts.  Capitalizing the first letter of each and every word in a sentence is redundant.

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Capitalization is important to show that you learned grammar sometime in life, but when it comes to stay touch with family and friends it 's not necessary if you don't want and this behavior is less harmful to the language that the "shorthand" language resulting from texting messages from one cell to another.

However proper capitalization is mandatory in formal and business writing, unless you want to prove you are incompetent to write properly within such context.

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Writing a letter without using capitalization seems really informal. If you are just writing to your friends it's okay if you don't like to use it, but with some letters like applications or some other formal letters, it is necessary to use the right way. I think there is a time when you can disregard rules but there are times when you have to follow. It is the correct way and there is nothing you can do but to follow unless you want to make your own set of rules. :wink:

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Writing a letter without using capitalization seems really informal. If you are just writing to your friends it's okay if you don't like to use it, but with some letters like applications or some other formal letters, it is necessary to use the right way. I think there is a time when you can disregard rules but there are times when you have to follow. It is the correct way and there is nothing you can do but to follow unless you want to make your own set of rules. :wink:

it might seem informal but that is in the eye of the beholder.  to me, lower case letters do not indicate an informal nature.  i usually follow the rules of language but i hate capitalization to start sentences.  from here on out i am protesting this rule.  this is the beginning of the lower case movement.  join me.

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I like capitalisations. It satisfies my need to be organised in my writings and can be used to show I'm serious about the point I'm making. Granted, this is generalising but I'm so used to it, as you are with not really liking capitalisation.

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The way I understand it, Capitalization signals the beginning and the end of one thought. Even without exclamation point, if your next word starts with a capital letter you will know that you’re starting on a different line. It also gives conviction to the word, like our name. It stressed its importance being capitalized unlike when it is not, you won’t know its difference from a regular thing. Like when your surname is Brown. How can that be different with the color brown if it’s written simply as brown?

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If you hate capitalization, do not EVER learn German. Ever.

If you only have one, hand, I can see capitals being "too much effort". Otherwise, punctuation isn't enough. There are many fonts where you have to squint to see whether a comma was used, or a period. You talk about wasted effort? That is wasted effort for me, your reader.

To me, not capitalizing things says that you're too lazy and selfish to care about anyone else but you.

And I'm done with this thread.

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I can't help but feel that you're trolling at this point. Are you really that much of a contrarian? Are you going to stick to your protest when you write a letter of intent or resume?

i obey all other rules of grammar and punctuation.  so i am not a strict contrarian at all.  i would conform to society's capitalization standards when writing a cover letter.  outside of the workplace i am spearheading the lower case movement. 

join the movement, brothers and sisters.

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i obey all other rules of grammar and punctuation.  so i am not a strict contrarian at all.  i would conform to society's capitalization standards when writing a cover letter.  outside of the workplace i am spearheading the lower case movement. 

join the movement, brothers and sisters.

It's not surprising that capitalization sparks such discussion.  I think it's a worthwhile discussion.  We've had so many such discussions here at this forum. 

As we know, language usage and rules do change over time.  Just think of hundreds of years ago, of the English language of Shakespeare's time or that of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It's quite different from modern usage.

And these days, the changes in language are driven in some part by the Internet.  We have situations in which we sometimes can't capitalize.  Sometimes user names that we adopt on various sites we might have online are either not case sensitive or they default to lower case.  So if you wanted your user name to be "Mark" for instance, you would have to settle for "mark" instead which might be confused with other uses of the word. 

But on the other hand on the Internet we know what happens if you do just the opposite.  If you use ALL CAPS that is considered shouting, and people don't like it.  So we know to use all capital letters sparingly for occasional emphasis. 

For non-native speakers of English who are learning grammar and grammar rules -- or for that matter, for native speakers as well -- it's important to know the current rules and usage as there will be times when it is crucial, such as in the example that zambothegreat pointed out.  If you are sending out a resume or a letter of intent you will want to make sure your capitalization, spelling and grammar are impeccable. 

So whether we conform or not, it's helpful to know the actual rules.  This is a great guide for capitalization usage:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/index.php?category_id=2&sub_category_id=1&article_id=42

Bending the rules of capitalization can spark reactions and it can set you apart.  There have been writers and other public figures who, for instance, don't capitalize their names or who otherwise adopt a stylized spelling.  The writer bell hooks, for example.  Also, the band fun. not only does not capitalize their name but they add a period at the end so their preferred spelling is "fun." rather than "Fun" as we would expect it to be.

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well, credit to bell hooks then.  he is an inspiration.  i dedicate this thread to him.  i'll have to read some of his work.  i've heard of him but never actually picked up one of his books.  do you have any recommendations?

bell hooks is a woman, actually. :) And not surprisingly for someone who writes her name in lower case, she's known for being an outspoken social critic and activist as well as an author.  I don't have any book recommendations per se but she has written numerous nonfiction books  on issues of race, class, feminism, culture, etc.  So it's a matter of checking out a bibliography and finding a title that sounds appealing. 

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bell hooks is a woman, actually. :) And not surprisingly for someone who writes her name in lower case, she's known for being an outspoken social critic and activist as well as an author.  I don't have any book recommendations per se but she has written numerous nonfiction books  on issues of race, class, feminism, culture, etc.  So it's a matter of checking out a bibliography and finding a title that sounds appealing.

well it is a beautiful name for a woman.  bell hooks.  if she was from the south, she should have changed the spelling to "belle" like a true southern belle.  i have noticed that more women write in lower case than men.  why do you think that is? this bell hooks reminds me of me so far.  i am also an outspoken social critic.

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