I read a lot of other people’s writing, in both my role as a teacher, grading papers students hand in, and as an editor at lifehack.org, preparing contributors’ work for publication on the site. Lately, I’ve been noticing a strange phonemenon: the gratuitous Capitalization of random Words.
It’s as if suddenly we’ve returned to the days of Pilgrim’s Progress, where Words are capitalized to show that they represent Important Concepts — except the words That are capitalized are often not All that important. Or it’s like we suddenly adopted German Grammar, where all the Nouns are capitalized — except it’s not Just nouns. In fact, I’ve searched in vain for a pattern, and can’t find one.
All I know is that I’m seeing words capitalized where no capital is needed, and that it seems to be becoming more and more common. I’m reading applications for a job opening right now, and 4 out of 14 were disqualified for mysterious capitalization — I don’t reckon with that sort of nonsense!
But am I alone? Am I the only one that’s seeing this? Am I some kind of magnet for awkward capitalization? And what oes it mean? Is this simply the outcome of poor schooling, or is it the first sign of the impending breakdown of all civilization as we know it? Or both?