Social Question

Lightning's avatar

What is so rude about all caps on the internet social sites?

Asked by Lightning (378points) April 6th, 2010

I just got kicked off a forum because I used all caps in most of my posts. Why did this happen? Using all caps is a form of self expression. It is a way for me to release my pint of anger. What is wrong with this form of self expression? Why is it not allowed in general? Why?

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22 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It sounds like shouting in one’s head, and shouting at people is rude.

Jude's avatar

Because it’s annoying.

Make it stop

LKidKyle1985's avatar

yeah its really annoying and breaks forum etiquette.

Response moderated
Shuichi's avatar

I am scared of your all capness. It indeed feels like you’re shouting. If you do not care about feelings then why care about yours for that matter? Most people dislike all caps so if you want respect right normally. :)

dpworkin's avatar

Because if you want to be part of a community you must obey it’s norms. If you continue to shout on Fluther you will be kicked off here as well.

Response moderated
jaytkay's avatar


If you want to be alone, then do what you want. If you live among people you care.

DominicX's avatar

The Romans didn’t think it was so rude. SENATVSPOPVLVSQVEROMANVS

Response moderated
Nullo's avatar

In the wild and woolly world of words, we use caps and the like to supplement the medium’s general lack of inflection, tone, and volume. This is generally agreed upon.

Words and language are for communication, and it is through communication that we express ourselves. We can use style and word choice for adornment, to underscore a particular point in this voiceless void. But that requires more subtlety than CAPS SPAMMING AND CAPS SPAMMING TRAMPLES ALL OVER SUBTLETY.

Response moderated
rangerr's avatar

@Steve_A Yo, I’mma let you finish, but Boba Fett had the best AAAAHHHHHHHH of all time.


I suppose the caps, being large, appear “forbidding” and “loud”, hence the perceived “rudeness”. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. As English speakers and writers, we are lucky that we don’t have to learn and read Chinese! The entire written language is in large, loud, and bold characters! (And if you listen to the spoken language, it’s pretty loud too.) Lol.

Steve_A's avatar

CaP oN

cAp oN cAp oFf

jerv's avatar

tHE CapPEr!

One other reason I find it annoying, aside from the shouting, is the legibility.

From The New Hacker’s Dictionary

“Great Runes /n./

Uppercase-only text or display messages. Some archaic operating systems still emit these. See also runes, smash case, fold case.

Decades ago, back in the days when it was the sole supplier of long-distance hardcopy transmittal devices, the Teletype Corporation was faced with a major design choice. To shorten code lengths and cut complexity in the printing mechanism, it had been decided that teletypes would use a monocase font, either ALL UPPER or all lower. The Question Of The Day was therefore, which one to choose.
A study was conducted on readability under various conditions of bad ribbon, worn print hammers, etc. Lowercase won; it is less dense and has more distinctive letterforms, and is thus much easier to read both under ideal conditions and when the letters are mangled or partly obscured.
The results were filtered up through management. The chairman of Teletype killed the proposal because it failed one incredibly important criterion:

“It would be impossible to spell the name of the Deity correctly.”

In this way (or so, at least, hacker folklore has it) superstition triumphed over utility. Teletypes were the major input devices on most early computers, and terminal manufacturers looking for corners to cut naturally followed suit until well into the 1970s. Thus, that one bad call stuck us with Great Runes for thirty years.”

While part of that may be myth, the truth is that lower-case is easier to read. If you go out of your way to make your post illegible, I don’t consider it worth reading :P

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s a norm of many (not all) Internet societies.

In Western culture, the finger (as in giving someone the finger), also known as the middle finger, the highway salute, the bird (as in flicking or flying the bird), or to flip someone off, is an obscene hand gesture.

In Iraq people give the middle finger gesture to people as a sign of respect.

Likewise the all caps gesture can have different meanings like the release of pints of anger.

Disc2021's avatar

It really is just annoying. So iS tYpInG lIkE tHiS – it’s just like “Really?”.

Just type as you would normally type a sentence, no need to mod out your text.

Nullo's avatar

Your bit of hacker lore provides an excellent opportunity to look at the differences between the mind of the theist and the mind of the atheist.

You, and no doubt many of your fellows, are limited to vexation at the chairman’s decision. Your emphasis is, quite understandably, on the efficiency lost.
The theist, on the other hand, sees a man who respects God enough to go with the less-efficient (though still functionally sufficient), possibly less lucrative method, and preserve the proper spelling of His Name. The theist admires this kind of dedication, and that admiration softens the vexation.

jerv's avatar

@Nullo Yet another reason I am now an Agnostic. Two actually; the impracticality of it and the assumption that God is such a grammar Nazi that He will allow you to inflict suffering on others for the sake of proper capitalization.
Then again, Conventional faith-holding Christianity [amongst hackers] is rare though not unknown., so I guess I am relatively mainstream in that regard.

Nullo's avatar

@jerv Where’d you get that assumption? God didn’t make the rules for English.
One shows his respect voluntarily, otherwise there’s no point, is there?.

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