The Meaning of All Caps –

All Capital Letters

All Capital Letters: We touched on the theme of WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPITAL. Usually, some Internet users use the capital letter (write in capital letters) in forums, conversation channels, emails, and other Internet media. According to the netiquette, in the language in the network, writing in UPPER CAPITAL is first understood as a cry to get attention. According to Alice Robb, writer for the New Republic, she says that writing phrases in capitals is the internet code to denote shouting and is therefore rude ( Robb, 2014 ). In a forum held in 1984 where users were asked what it would mean to write in capitals, one wrote: “ If I write in capital letters, I am trying to SCREAM“. Dave Decot made a summary of the forum and concluded that the way to emphasize words on the Internet are the following:

  • To use a WORD IN UPPERCASE is to try to make my word HIGHER, MORE SOUND.
  • Using * asterisks *(symbol) is the best way to emphasize that word.
  • Writing the word spaced is another way to draw attention to a concept.

       Using sustained capital words is not new. According to Professor Paul Luna, director of the department of typography and graphic communications at the British University of Reading, says that writing in capital letters is a sign of solemn pomposity and aesthetics already used for two thousand years by the ancient Romans, who wrote well for Relate your heroic acts. It indicated that it should be read aloud so that everyone listened well to the solemn events that occurred. In the 1970s, Robert Moses wrote everything in capital letters to show his anger at a biography of Robert Caro,  The Power Broker. Of this, another author, John McWhorter, said: ” I would also use sustained capital letters to” shout “when I was a child those days”(Robb, 2014).

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       Like any rule, it has not been established by a person or by a group but is developed from the common sense of the users and the use of language itself. Sociology defines the norm as an informal understanding that governs social behavior. For psychology, the social norm in what has to do with behavior has two dimensions: the level of behavior demonstrated and how the groups approve and disapprove such behavior. 

       Many people think that the network is a space without rules. This is not demonstrable because there is an immense constellation of legal norms – for example when a user subscribes to a social network, they have to sign a contract that describes legal norms to which they are subject and for which they could receive a criminal sanction. if it incurs a violation such as the suspension of the account and also the social norms that we call netiquettes.

       The definition of the use of sustained letters as virtual shouting is not restricted to the Spanish language. It also corresponds to other languages, for example, in English indicates that in addition to being considered a virtual shout, it is inattentive and makes reading difficult, because we are taught to read texts in lowercase letters in which the capital letters have their determined role: Start proper names, for example.

The virtual screams

Now let’s compare the virtual world with the real one.

       Imagine that we are in a conversation with other people and we all follow a specific topic. The room is sufficiently conditioned, so no audio is required. Everyone talks normally:

– Welcome Pedro, how are you? 


– Well, thanks … we are talking about the ways in which we communicate through the network. 


– Well Pedro, but you don’t have to shout. 



       Well, that would be more or less the effect of the one that writes in capitals. This also brings other situations:

1. Create a psychological impact on the one who reads you: many people will believe that you are angry or that you want to impose your views on how it results.

2. Others will think that you want to get attention and that they only look at you.

3. Others will believe that you do not know how to use punctuation marks, because you have the idea that in capitalized texts it is not necessary to put the ticks, for example, tree = TREE , but the SAR establishes (this is our authority for the correct use of our language) that in capital letters YES, the tildes are used: TREE.

Capitalization Standard

  •  Another thing to know is that the capital letter is not used in printed material (newspapers, books, posters, etc.).
  • Have you seen a book written in capitals?A newspaper or a magazine or a single article all in capital letters?
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