Situations When It Is Acceptable/Not Acceptable To Write IN ALL CAPS
Everything that I say and write is important. Very important. Smetimes when I am writing and my thoughts are super, extra-important, I write it IN ALL CAPS for extra emphasis. Sure, I know some people read capital letters as “screaming,” i.e. rude. That’s especially true if you’re tweeting or writing an entire email in caps. But used sparingly, all caps work really well to denote enthusiasm, sarcasm, anger … a whole range of emotions that it is very important to express. Here are some noteworthy examples of times I used all-capital letters recently.
“IT LOOKS LIKE A BABY.”
— Texting a friend about Prince George.
— Emailing the entire Frisky staff last night about this baby ginger seal who was shunned by its mommy. (Winona responded, one-upping me, “OH EM GEEEEEEEEEEE.”)
Now, you might still be a little confused about when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to write in all caps to friends, family, and your entire office. Allow me to explain to you after the jump.
It is totally OK to text your friends in all caps when …
- You have gossip about an A-list celebrity to communicate. “OMG JENNIFER ANISTON WAS ON MY FLIGHT.”
- You have gossip about a Z-list celebrity to communicate. “I JUST SAW TANNING MOM AT MY TANNING SALON OMG SHE IS OFF THE WAGON.”
It is not OK to text your friends in all caps when …
- You have gossip about a B- or C-list celebrity. Sorry, but tertiary characters on “Law & Order: SVU” aren’t worthy of a caps text.
It’s totally okay to email your roommate in all caps when …
- You’re giving instructions on something expensive/complicated. “MAKE SURE TO TURN OFF THE A/C BEFORE YOU LEAVE!” “POPSICLES IN THE FREEZER!”
It is not OK to email your roommate in all caps when …
- You’re trying to emphasize she is a complete slob. Or that she paid the rent late. Or that she kept you up until 3 a.m. fucking her boyfriend. You will just look like you are screaming at her. You might want to actually scream at her, but this is not the right way to communicate it.
It’s totally OK to email your parents in all caps …
- When you’re emphasizing information about which they have proven themselves to be really dense. “MAKE SURE TO USE THE TIVO REMOTE.” “WEST SIDE, NOT EAST SIDE.'”
It is not OK to email your parents in all caps …
- In response to an all-caps email which was clearly a case of hitting “caps lock” and not realizing how to fix it. Don’t mock your mommy. That’s mean!
It’s totally OK to text your boyfriend in all caps …
- To say something enthusiastic: “WE’RE GOING TO CABO!!!” “YAY!” “YEAH!” “WHAT?!” “OMG CUTE DOG AT WORK TODAY!”
- As a warning: “DON’T EAT THE REST OF THAT GELATO!” “OMG SPOILER ALERT STOP IT!”
It is not OK to text your boyfriend in all caps …
- Whilst sexting. Honey, “I WANT YOU TO PUT IT IN MY ASS” just doesn’t have that ring to it.
When do you think it’s okay and not OK to write in all caps? Tell us in the comments!
[Image of an angry woman texting via Shutterstock]