MANY LAWYERS THINK THAT THE BEST WAY TO EMPHASIZE A WRITTEN PASSAGE IS TO PUT IT IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. THESE LAWYERS ARE MISGUIDED. WRITING A PASSAGE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MAKES IT HARDER TO READ. ALSO IT MAKES THE READERS UNCOMFORTABLE; THEY GET THE FEELING THAT THE WRITER IS SHOUTING AT THEM. AND NO ONE LIKES TO BE SHOUTED AT.
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, ASK YOURSELF HOW MUCH YOU ARE ENJOYING READING THIS POST. ASK YOURSELF WHETHER THIS POST LOOKS BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE OTHER POSTS ON THIS BLOG. ASK YOURSELF WHETHER THIS POST IS EASIER TO READ OR HARDER TO READ THAN THE OTHER POSTS.
IF YOU STILL DON'T BELIEVE, TRUST THE EXPERTS:
- THIS ARTICLE BY RUTH ANNE ROBBINS, PAGE 115 (PDF PAGE 10)
- THIS ADVICE BY THE U.S. SEVENTH CIRCUIT, BOTTOM OF PAGE 6
- THIS PAGE FROM THE WEB STYLE GUIDE
- DICTIONARY OF MODERN LEGAL USAGE, PAGE 130
- GARNER'S MODERN AMERICAN USAGE, PAGE 129
- THE REDBOOK, § 2.19
IF YOU STILL DON'T BELIEVE, CLICK ON "CONTINUE READING" BELOW, AND SEE HOW MUCH BETTER THIS POST LOOKS — HOW MUCH MORE READABLE IT IS — WITH MOSTLY LOWER-CASE LETTERS.
IF YOU'RE STILL TEMPTED TO EMPHASIZE VIA ALL CAPS, DO YOUR READERS A FAVOR: ASK YOUR LOCAL COMPUTER EXPERT TO DISABLE THE CAPS LOCK KEY ON YOUR KEYBOARD.
Many lawyers think that the best way to emphasize a written passage is to put it in all capital letters. These lawyers are misguided. Writing a passage in all capital letters makes it harder to read. Also it makes the readers uncomfortable; they get the feeling that the writer is shouting at them. And no one likes to be shouted at.
. . .
If you still don't believe, trust the experts:
- This article by Ruth Anne Robbins, page 115 (PDF page 10)
- This advice by the U.S. Seventh Circuit, bottom of page 6
- This page from the Web Style Guide
- Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, page 130
- Garner's Modern American Usage, page 129
- The Redbook, § 2.19
. . .
If you're still tempted to emphasize via all caps, do your readers a favor: ask your local computer expert to disable the Caps Lock key on your keyboard.