SHOUTING; emphasis?

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Tue Sep 10 18:05:20 UTC 2002

On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, DAK wrote:

#Many of the regulars on ADS-L know me
#from off-list exchanges over the past
#five years.  ( I'm not one for on-list chatter.)
#It is however obvious, from the recent  ( quite
#useful ) discussion that many newbies have no
#idea who I am -- I likely neglected to post an
#intellectual profile, as I find such take up space
#in archives without enlightening posterity.

        [snip credentials]

#My memory of DARPA-net e-mail was that it was
#almost exclusively in uppercase.  ( Even the main-
#frame I used in the early eighties was all uppercase.)
#Most micro-computers were incapable of "full ASCII."

I am not a newbie on this list, nor to email or Usenet. I was using
email at Berkeley in the seventies and on DARPANET when I worked at
Honeywll in the eighties. To the best of my recollection, lowercase was
available to many users, though not all, including all members of those
two communities, and its use was expected when available. All-uppercase
was frowned upon.

#That said, I apologize for upsetting the tender
#sensibilities of neophytes -- I'm a cripple and
#find it difficult to use the shift key. Sometimes
#I forget or just get lazy.

Ron also dislikes the shift key. His all-lowercase text is easier to
read than all-uppercase. (My opinion, and see earlier posts about

BTW: when someone is speaking more loudly than is appropriate -- say,
someone who is hard of hearing and has difficulty gauging their own
volume, or simply has gotten carried away -- do you consider it rude to
ask them to please lower their voice? ISTM that that's exactly the
analog to the situation here. The observed and reported fact is that
most users do consider uppercase to be emphatic (yes, yes, where it's
not a set of initials like "ISTM"), and that as a direct corollary they
perceive all-uppercase text as shouting... whether you agree or not.
This is the current norm of Internet society.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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