A Time for All Caps
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE ALL CAPS?
I use all-caps in the blog occasionally. Sometimes, I shout at you, dear readers. I shout in real life when I’m passionate about something, so I shout in writing, as well.
This is a blog, not professional discourse. In case you don’t already know this, and I’m going to put it in all caps for emphasis, ALL CAPS IS NEVER APPROPRIATE AT WORK. NEVER.
All caps, as I mentioned above, denotes shouting. Please do not shout at your coworkers. That’s how you encourage a hostile work environment.
It’s also rarely appropriate in a manuscript. Italics, yes. Emphasis, yes. All caps? Well, I’m going to say no, but there may be an instance where I will use it in the future. I won’t say Never. I’ve even seen it before. CB Archer’s Breakers of the Code used it for one character’s dialogue, every line of dialogue. It stuck out like Jesus’ red text in the bible.
I recently played an androgynous character in D&D, inspired by Roodg (or rOODG), a character from CB Archer’s Ander’s Quest in Annals of Gentalia. Roodg is a mage, and my character for this one-shot game was a mage, so I decided, “Why not?”
Roodg wears a loose, flowing cloak with a hood covering all but one eye. Roodg also talks in all caps. Well. All caps except the letters that should be caps, like their caps lock is stuck and they don’t know it. At one point, another character asks if the character’s name is a misspelling of “Rude Guy…Girl…Whatever?” because they shout all the time.
Don’t be a rude guy…girl…whatever.
Use all caps on social media, for emphasis, or when you’re really angry at the world. Do not use all caps in professional or personal correspondence (or on your professional social media), or the recipient will think you’re an asshole.
CB Archer’s creative use of all caps and genderqueer inclusion in a crazy conglomeration of gaming adventure and monster erotica was refreshing and inspiring. Please, if you haven’t already, check out Breakers of the Code and CB Archer (But only if Monster Erotica didn’t scare you away. I know not everyone is into that sort of thing. Hell, I wasn’t into that sort of thing!)