Mindless Capitalization

Sep 17 2007


Somehow, somewhere along the way, people started capitalizing instead of bolding or italicizing words for emphasis. Am I the only one who finds this annoying and distracting?

I cannot tell you how many otherwise smart and intelligent people I know violate the rules of capitalization. While perhaps they’re not purposely breaking the rules, when called out on it, they insist that it makes sense and helps readers understand when they’re reading something important. Yes, their motives are pure, but it drives me nuts.

If you don’t already know, I’m an editor by day, so I am likely more sensitive to this issue than most. The funny thing about this particular grammatical error is that frequently people object when I edit a document to remove these “mindless capitalizations,” even when I explain to them that it is grammatically incorrect. If I correct “their” vs “they’re” or “your” vs “you’re” they thank me for catching their errors. But somehow they think that capitalization is a sign of respect and value.

Here’s a cheat sheet for you all. Obviously, there are more rules, but these, in my opinion are the most abused.

Yes, you should capitalize:

No, you should not capitalize:

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Filed under: Pet Peeves



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