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Posts, Articles, Advertising in ALL CAPS

Social Butterfly

Posts, Articles, Advertising in ALL CAPS

I've been surfing around this morning, reading AARP forums, news, etc, then started looking at Zillow.



I do tend to do this. I don't know why. But it was annoying to me because this description was very long. I don't know why people, business people, put ads and product descriptions in such typography. I remember the books that I learned to read with, all about Dick, his sisters Jane and Sally, and their pets Spot and Puff. Man, those were large print books (like those now for seniors) but even they didn't resort to all cap's.


I've been using the internet since around 1995 and CompuServe forums before that. Using many forms of media and communication, even various social media, over that time. The one common rule was no posting in all caps, it was considered rude. (well, there were other rules. like don't be a troll.)


I get that some people are not accustomed to public "speaking" (in writing) and may think that using "all caps" gives their words more import and weighty seriousness. Generally I just view them as clueless. And from the words they write I often do feel some sympathy for them (especially here in the AARP forums) as they often seem to be unsophisticated, vulnerable people needing a lot of assistance. Other times, people are just being blowhards.


There is the issue of visual acuity and device display. Perhaps all caps is more readable by those with issues like macular degeneration or just fading eyesight.


My own pet peeve, with regard to this latter issue, is how for some years now the de rigueur web design motif is to use light gray font on dark backgrounds. LOL. How legible is that?! I discussed this one time with the guy who designed and maintained my employer's website. He knew exactly what I was referring to and laughed about it. The young guy didn't like that type of a "artistic effect" either (fortunately our company's site did not do was a company run by and for mechanical engineers haha). He clued me in on some sites and software that are the trendsetters in web design; now I can immediately spot sites designed with that software.


Oh, one last point now that I am on my soap box! How about Comic Sans font? Being an old-time draftsman early in my career I wanted some sort of font that looked hand-written, to be used for only select highlights, not an entire document. I see that Comic Sans has long been the butt of derision by those same elite web designers and typographers. But on the other hand there are just as many elite defenders of that font. I still use it as for Titles of spreadsheets and documents that I create; gives a "homey feel", Elites be ... 


Honored Social Butterfly

I am 'old school' too, in that all caps is seen as yelling and rude.


An alternative to using caps for poor vision is using larger font.




You can even make it bolder.




I agree, all caps seem jarring.  And I have yet to see how typing in all CAPS makes it easier to read or see.  It is just annoying.


But even so, don't most computers and devices have accessibility settings for the visually impaired?

Regular Contributor

When I started working in an office with several other women, I used all caps in an email.  Well, I was told that it wasn't correct.  I learned not to do it.  Sometimes we all need a wake up call.  Glad for the reprimand.

Trusted Social Butterfly

Maybe a post with tips on adding emphasis by using Bold, Italics, and Underline as an alternative to All Caps would be helpful.


....Also appreciate the Comic Sans font...kinda has a legibly handwritten quality.

Trusted Social Butterfly

Took my own advice and found a couple articles:


Formatting for Emphasis

In this post, we’ll be looking at four ways to format emphasis in Microsoft Word: italics, bold, underlining, and all-caps. We’ll also look at why you shouldn’t use quote marks for emphasis.
1. Italics

In formal writing, italics are the best way to emphasize text. This includes most business writing and academic work. For example, you might find italics used in a textbook like this:
That Dickens, always popularizing literary techniques.
Here, italicizing “popularize” highlights the distinction between inventing something and making it popular. Italics can also be used to emphasize key parts of a quotation. If you do this, you also need to show that you’ve changed the formatting in the quoted text:
This may not be a reliable interpretation…
The quote above uses APA rules for adding emphasis, but make sure to check your style guide for how to do this if you’re using a different referencing system.

2. Bold

While bold fonts are mostly used for headings and subheadings in formal documents, they are used for emphasis online and in informal writing. This approach to emphasis is very visually striking:
Bold formatting.
Here, the words “strobe lighting” have been highlighted so they will stand out even for someone who is skim reading the document.

3. Underlining

In the days of typewriters, which didn’t have bold or italic fonts, underlining was the standard way to emphasize text. Now that we have computers, which offer a range of formatting options, this is less common.
However, you can still use underlining for emphasis if you want, especially in less formal writing. It can also be useful if you need to emphasize one or two words within a highlighted passage.


You can also emphasize something by capitalizing it, though this can make it SEEM LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING. This type of emphasis is therefore best saved for when you want something to look loud.
Think of all-caps as a textual loudhailer.

However, all-caps should not generally be used in formal or academic writing.

A Warning About Quotation Marks

One common mistake is using quote marks to emphasize a word. For example, you might see a sign outside a shop:
Everything At "Bargain" Prices
The idea here is to stress the word “bargain.” But this isn’t correct. And since quote marks can be used to indicate irony (i.e., scare quotes), it could even seem sarcastic! This sign could therefore suggest that the products are overpriced, which is the complete opposite of the intended message.
As such, you should avoid using quote marks for emphasis to ensure clarity in your written work.



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