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Capital letters…

There are certain times when you must use a capital letter:

  • to start a sentence
  • for a proper noun (e.g. the name of a person, place or event)
  • in acronyms (e.g. the ATO, ASAP, TV)

The rest of the time, lower case letters are not only suitable – they are correct and preferred.

It Is Very Annoying To Read A Sentence Where Every Word Starts With A Capital Letter Isn’t It? And it takes more time and effort to type, too! Despite what some marketers would have you think, these extra capital letters do not make your message clearer or more important, and they certainly won’t bring in more sales. In fact, many people will see all those extra capitals and consider it a tacky attempt to manipulate them and therefore are less likely to even read their message.

It also just looks like you don’t know much about grammar or appearing professional.

And I’m not just talking about using capitals for every word, either. For instance, I received an email stating:

The first of these will address issues in Web Writing. The other two will focus on Web Accessibility: a half day Overview workshop and a full day Techniques Workshop. These are excellent programs.

There is no reason for ‘web writing’, ‘web accessibility’ or ‘techniques workshop’ to start with capitals – they are not proper nouns and shouldn’t be treated a such. As for ‘overview’, I can’t imagine why someone thought it needed a capital letter!

I find misuse of capitals bad enough – but for someone advertising a writing course, I expect much better than this! I wonder if they addressed the issue of using capitals in web writing – online, capitals are considered as yelling so really should be avoided in your web and email writing.

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