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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Seemingly random Capitalization

Have you ever noticed that certain words in some documents Are capitalized, as though to Emphasize their Importance? It makes me Wonder:

1. Are the proofreaders German? From what little I know about the German language, I believe that all Nouns are capitalized.

2. Are these words more important than the other words in the sentence? And, if so, is there a hierarchy of importance? Like, step 1. Capitalization - more important than lowercase words; step 2. Italics - more important than words that are merely capitalized; step 3. Bold - more important than italicized words, less important than underlined words.

Methinks it is the latter--people don't really know how to make things stand out in their writing and they're unsure of themselves. Like they're thinking, "I feel that this word is important, but what if it's not? Maybe I should just capitalize it, rather than putting it in italics, in case it's not important."

Case in point: I was reading a report today that was filled with words that were capitalized though they were not parts of titles or proper nouns. E.g., "Administration" Maybe it's just longer words that need to be capitalized. Those are the important ones.

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