From an early age, we are trained in the capitalization of the first letter of defined terms, the beginning of sentences and proper names – names of people and specific places or objects. But in recent years, more and more extremely online individuals have invented a series of new uses for capitalization that do not meet the rules set by English teachers and style guides.
Nowadays, it is common to type a capitalized word to indicate SCREAMING, the use of ALTERNATIVE CAPTURE (often associated with SpongeBob memes) to convey mockery, or to complete the lack of capitalization, which can be done deliberately to appear extremely cold, or simply because one does not bother to hit the Shift key from time to time.
But there is another trend that I have seen repeatedly, in which more and more people intentionally capitalize the first letter of some words to make them stand out, as if it were the same. And I want to know why?
At one point, the capitalization of words As this has become an accepted practice, a secret code that we all agreed to start using in silence. But how exactly has it become a norm and what is forcing so many people to use this technique?
As you can assume logically, one of the main reasons why people embark on thug capitalization is to put the emphasis. Expert linguists have developed emphatic capitalization in a 2018 article by Rachel Thompson from Mashable, but after talking to a selection of self-proclaimed atypical capitalists, I learned that there are various other reasons why people engage in the trend.
It seems that the appeal of capitalization stems from the competitive nature of social media. Every day, people connect online to share photos, thoughts, shots and feelings in order to connect with each other. But because all of this content can be validated through preferences, favorites or retweets, often people do not just try to share pieces of themselves. Instead, they try to make these songs the funniest, deepest, or most innovative content.
Sometimes uppercase words in text or tweets emphasize an original idea, but give off a sense of extra pride. For example, after the Mashable Newsroom recently learned that Kraft was sticking a bandage in a tube and rebranding like Salad Frosting, my editor asked us via Slack that we would like to see in a tube. A colleague replied "hmmm maybe cookie dough", to which another replied: "it's already in the form of a tube." When asked why they had chosen capital letters in this case, they responded that they often participated in the trend "to make something more ironic".
Unnecessary ceilings act as an indicator of sorts. Not only do they warn readers that the edited text is the most important part of a thought, but also that the author has some sense of humor. I've witnessed this humor during tweets to ask my subscribers if anyone was attending Acts Of Rebellious Capitalization. Each person who is extremely self-aware and who has responded has made sure to maintain his capitalization habit in his answers, fully integrating the technique as part of his personality.
In extreme cases, people follow words with a trademark symbol to jokingly claim ownership of a sentence in a more formal way.
"When I use the trademark symbol in a conversation, I use it a bit to emphasize, but also as a mode of distinction, if it makes sense. Like, it's important but It's Important, Almost Moreso ™, "Emerson Schoenike, an 18-year-old, describes in a Twitter post that he ventured out of the official capitalization style as his" brand. " .
Andrea Butler, 25, agrees that the capitalization of certain words has a lot to do with personal branding. "For example, I wrote the other day a" very feminist friend "in an Instagram legend, because I am very feminist and part of my brand (and that of my friend)", a- she explained in an interview with Mashable. Butler also thinks that capitalization can "be a way of making fun of things that are not serious but serious people."
"If I said I have a big date tonight (especially if I've included the trademark symbol), that would mean that I'm going to a date that, I know, should be considered as a big deal, "says Butler," but in writing her own name I'm ironic. "
In a sense, the ™ the symbol works to make some words honorary proper nouns, like the linguistic version of Gretchen Wieners trying to make Fetch⁽ ™ a thing in the interior Average girls.
Although the personal brand may play a role in the decision to exaggerate with capitalization, certain cultural aspects and personalities also influence the trend.
Steve Carley, 28, who sometimes capitalizes the words "that indicate a thing to emphasize the importance of this thing," told Mashable that I had resumed the habit in none other than Stephen King . Carley noted that the author's story refers to his dog as "Molly the thing of evil" on Twitter since 2015.
One of the king the least favorite Twitter usersDonald Trump also likes to capitalize words in tweets – although his capital letters can often seem random and absurd.
Whether it is False media, Enemy of the people, Country, Treason, Obstruction and collusion, or the many other words that I've unnecessarily capitalized without explanation, his bad habit could certainly be a source of inspiration someone & # 39; a change their caps style.
Trump (connection): the time to capitalize at random some words
– Jon Christian (@Jon_Christian) June 9, 2019
The trend has already been observed before Trump's entry into office, and Schoenike thinks that the recent rise could also have a link with "the growing number of online Generation Z activities".
Schoenike, who sees a lot of style on Tumblr, explained that their generation had grown up in the era of advanced Internet jargon, which meant that they had a habit of constantly changing and that They were eager to choose different styles of typing.
In some cases, people are not entirely responsible for capitalizing a phrase in the middle. Several people using iOS devices, for example, have noticed that random words automatically capitalize when they type. You can disable the uppercase feature via the settings of your iPhone, but often, people contribute to the trend by letting the words be capitalized.
I capitalize only the defined terms, the proper names, the beginning of the sentences and all that you decide to use iOS – without apparent rhyme or reason – to capitalize.
– f wisen (@foswi) June 5, 2019
And of course, it is possible for Twitter users to develop shared communication standards by constantly consuming their typing habits. "I think the trend is becoming popular because, like any online trend, you see someone doing it and you think it's smart, then you're going to understand it," Butler says. , comparing it to the popular trend of people using the tilde in conversation years ago
In one 2016 piece for SlateKaty Waldman also noted that the trend could be due to the fact that "Twitter does not allow users to type in bold or italic". The same goes for texting.
Nicole Moriarty, 33, began using this capitalization style when she became a business owner and had to communicate with her employees via SMS. "It's hard to make sure the right tone is given, but I wanted them to answer (so) I would capitalize the words of importance, then throw some emojis on it to say: & It's (really) important to you But I'm not sorry, I just need an answer. "
Although there are text converters such as Twitalics which generate fonts in bold or italic, it takes a lot of effort, unlike capitalization. "I think the trend will continue because it's easier to capitalize on something than underline it or put it in italics when you're sending SMS," Moriarty said.
Unimpeded capitalization, if done with skill, can be quite charming, but this habit also has the potential to be incredibly irritating at times.
no matter who else gets excited when people randomly capitalize on things like this without reason.
– Alex (@ADHDdeeRamone) June 9, 2019
I like it when capitalizations are creative, such as "Senior Crush Correspondent ™" or ideal franchises like "Krasinski Cinematic Universe". I'm even a sucker for the occasional parody of "Big Dick Energy"But for some reason, every time I see people type" Very bad, "" Very good, "or the worst offense," V Bad, "I find the style absolutely ugly, For Carley, who also has a relationship with Love / hate with the trend, the breaking point comes every time you see someone typing, "I did a thing."
"It's difficult, because it's really a silly thing to do in 2019, but at the same time, it's the fact that it's almost universally easy to understand the intention that makes it fun" said Carley.
Moriarty says she is a fan of the trend because she suffers from an attention deficit disorder and finds it useful when she points to what she is supposed to focus on. Butler thinks that cap stocks are fun, but "like any Internet trend, they can be irritating when they are used to excess."
With regard to emphatic capitalization, an excess may mean overuse Capitalize each word as if you are writing for ClickHole, which seems extra embarrassing for some.
I do not understand people who write like that. Why does the fuck capitalize the first alphabet of every word?
– Jafri (@SmaackJaw) June 15, 2019
Why do some people capitalize on every word like this when they post on social media? Does anyone have the answer? Also, why does it bother me so much?
– Chris (@ CSanders_20) June 11, 2019
"Screen readers have trouble reading hashtags when they are lowercase because they do not have spaces to distinguish words. If you capitalize each letter in the hashtag, the work will be much better, "she explained.
Capitalization has really come a long way.
. (tagsToTranslate) twitter (t) texting (t) social media (t) linguistic (t) culture (t) web culture</pre></pre>
You probably know someone who sends SMS, chats or tweets this way. Maybe you do it! In addition to being a totally harmless phenomenon (for the Internet), it's a habit that is easy to fall when the people around you are doing it. But Why to put a space in the first place?
The first and most obvious explanation is … French. Yes, all the language. In French, the exclamation points, the interrogation points, the two points and the semicolon (all forms of punctuation "high") must always be preceded by a space. For example, if you want to send an SMS to your friend to tell him how much you hate to be online, tell him: You gave yourself online! (In the typewriter, these spaces were thin and non-breaking, now they often take the form of standard spaces.)
When Francophones write in English, it can be difficult to break this habit. Cailey Rizzo, 26, who is fluent in French and English, naturally finds herself in practice, especially when her iPhone is tuned to the French keyboard. "When I'm in French, they are very different," she said. "Even when I speak to a French but English, I think I add a space … I have to have some kind of memory in the double tap that is related to French."
Amanda, 25, speaks French and has many French friends, but French is not often available. Still, she finds herself leaving spaces in front of exclamation points and question marks. "But I'm not sure whether it's French speaking or not," she explained. Instead, she thinks that she probably unknowingly imitates the behavior of her friends.
Zelda, 30, is also a French speaker who tends to leave spaces before exclamation points and question marks when sending SMS in English. She attributes this partly to her life in France, but it is also a habit. "My thumb automatically strikes a space after all and it seems like a waste of effort to go back and delete it," she said.
"I'm upset when things seem cluttered, even if it's grammatically correct.
Of course, there are non-francophones who have chosen to use the space. There are even people who – panting – put a space before the "low" punctuation like points and commas. Although some of these elements appear as a neglected francophilia, there are people who opt for space as a form of depreciation of punishment, a way to reduce the strength (self-perceived) of their statements. In essence, they adopt the French approach based solely on intuition.
"It's purely my subconscious and obsession w[ith] proportions and negative space ", explained Rachel, 30 years old." I get upset when everything seems planted, even if it's grammatically correct. So I can not stop taking liberties … you need space to breathe! "
I do sometimes! I use it to punctuate my punctuation
– Alex Sujong Laughlin (@alalaughs) March 5, 2019
In to 2015 New York Times piece, Jessica Bennett expresses a similar feeling:
So, instead of responding to a text with "I can not wait!", I will insert a space or two before the mark – "I can not wait !!" – for this little extra break. Sometimes I make the point of exclamation a parenthesis, a kind of reflection after ("I can not wait (!)"). A friend inserts ellipses – "I can not wait … !!" – so, as she says so well, "it's less intense."
And then there is the device. Even those who have no knowledge of French or impulses of linguistic depreciation can find themselves using space from time to time. On iMessage, for example, if you select a word with predictive text, a space automatically replaces it. According to the experience of our newsroom, sometimes the space disappears when you add punctuation, sometimes not, which means that we run the risk of being an unintentional user of space. (Regardless of whether the Smart Punctuation setting has been enabled or not.)
Cute Fogarty, who founded the site Quick and dirty tips, discovered as much when she interviewed the readers about the increase in space before punctuation in 2011. A lot of people said they would have noticed that their devices were automatically added to the space after using predictive text. To solve the problem, she explained: "You have to go back before typing the point, the question mark or the exclamation point." So, if you're not careful, or if you're just lazy, it's easy to leave that space. "
this guy i went to a date with puts a space before question points, exclamation points and sometimes commas like that! Is this a good excuse for not having a second date?
– aliciabeige (@aliciabeige) July 31, 2018
With all this in mind, you have a few tools to detect why this new person you're texting with will not stop leaving spaces before commas. If they are not effectively by observing French grammatical norms – remember that the comma is a low punctuation – they could try to "soften" their phrasing. Or maybe they only use predictive text. Or, less flattering, they try to give their messages a European effect, because they think it will make them look cultured.
But even during the writing of this story, I found myself more and more obliged to leave a little space from time to time. Last week, I caught myself doing it in an Instagram legend. I do not know why, exactly; you just feel more laid back, more elegant, more … French? Oh my God