Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Capital Offense

This is something we're seeing more frequently--particularly in internet forums and message board posts: the feckless use of the "Shift" key. Usually, it  seems, the author is taken with the idea that Capitalizing a Word gives it Emphasis. In the case of the headline in this mailer, it's more a matter of random capitalization (why the shout-out for Year but not helping or children?).

Sure, you can argue that conventions around capitalization, like fashion conventions, are essentially arbitrary, and that Shakespeare himself played with spellings and capitalization with freewheeling abandon. I would argue that if you want to follow language conventions from the 1600's, you should be required to wear an Elizabethan ruffled collar.