abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz vs. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

August 16, 2010

i’ve had various people ask me what’s up with your capitalization?  i’ll admit that some of it is me being lazy- well maybe lazy isn’t the best choice of words.  Sometimes when i’m writing an e-mail or a letter i feel like i have so much to say that i just start typing or writing.  (i know this sounds like lazy but let me continue) Ever since i was little and learning to write i’ve had a harder time writing capital letters than i did lowercase.  When we used that ginormous lined paper, you know, the kind with the blue lines and the dotted line in the middle showing you how big to make your lowercase and uppercase letters?  i always had problems making the uppercase big enough and they were always messier.  Soon i just didn’t like them.  It was faster and easier for me to write without them.  i suppose somewhere in there it translated to typing as well.  When i write by hand i feel like i have to slow down to write those capital letters and then i pause for a second because i don’t like how it looks- that very pause throws me off.  i’ve gotten better about typing but my brain just doesn’t think in capitals.  Although, i admit that i have tried to become more conscious of it due in part to my own self consciousness.  i communicate with certain people (and i don’t mean employers or anyone like that, i’m much more formal then) who i have an unfounded fear will think less of me if i don’t use capitals.  i’ve sort of tried to get over it but i’m not always in a place in my life to be able to.  Silly i know.  i think it also sort of has something to do with the fact that i don’t like to be the center of attention.  i want to be an individual and recognized for who i am but i don’t want to jump up and down shouting about it- it seems like capital letters are doing just that.  Does that even make sense?

As far as i vs. I and you vs. You it depends.  Ninety-nine percent of the time if i am referring to myself i use i.  Just like when i write my name i prefer it to be lowercased.  That’s just me.  i’m not trying to make a statement, it just feels right.  Seeing that capital T is jarring to me.  It doesn’t feel like it really means me.  But sometimes when i write a poem or even journal i feel like i need to use I to distinguish the way someone else made me feel, as in “you say I” or the sometimes overpowering negative voice we all have.  i’m not sure that makes sense but my fingers are crossed.

You vs. you is a little more complicated.  Often times the determination comes from how i feel and relate to the subject.  For example if i feel close to the person or feel like we are basically on the same level in the snapshot i’m writing about i will use you.  However, if i feel intimidated or overwhelmed or threatened i would probably use You.  Although, i might also choose You if i really admire someone.  And so on and so forth.

i’ll admit there was a time when i wrote poetry that none of this was conscious and then as i read more and more poetry i noticed it in other people’s writing and started paying attention to it in my own.  So if you read a poem of mine the capitalization or lack thereof is completely intentional.

So here is my question to you: how do you feel about capitalization?  Do you care at all?  Are you strictly by the book?  Is it planned out or an afterthought?  Etc etc etc.  Tell me everything or nothing.


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