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Capital letters

Your message needs to be clear, not vibrating!

I came across this image today and was annoyed by the incorrect use of ‘your’!

I did try to be gracious and look past the poor grammar,  and actually see the message but random the capital letters and poor grammar was too much.

And a message like this needs all the additional credibility it can get really – not everyone will accept the concept of vibrations and auras impacting your life and finances, and even if you do believe in those things, there are so many quacks in those fields it is hard to trust a new source of these ideas.

So unless this message was deliberately done to exclude more discriminating people and attract more gullible people, the message would have been more effective (ie easier to read) as:

Corrected quote about money struggles

The image above (ie not my corrected version) came from Money Habits where they were questioning the wisdom of the message and encouraging people to pay attention to their financial concerns in order to find solutions. I don’t know the original source of the quote so can’t say if it went on to explain their meaning or give ideas on how to improve their vibration – without additional content, this quote is fairly pointless as it doesn’t give guidance to someone.

If you send out a message to engage people about their concern, you have to follow it up with some information or a means to get answers. Just stating the problem isn’t helping anyone.

In summary, this message failed because

  1. they used ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ and it was distracting
  2. random capital letter use was distracting
  3. it just stated a problem without providing resources
  4. all the above removed any credibility it may otherwise have had


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.