IT’S INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY

GO CRAZY!!!

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Oct 22 2015, 4:36pm

Image: Shutterstock

IT'S INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, SO PUT A BRICK ON YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY AND PARTY ON.

CAPS LOCK IS PRETTY MUCH VERBOTEN WHEREVER YOU GO. IF YOU USE IT IN EMAILS, IT MAKES YOU LOOK CRAZY, LIKE A GRANDPA FORWARDING EMAILS ABOUT BENGHAZI. IF YOU USE IT IN A CHAT, IT'S SUPER ANNOYING AND YOUR FRIENDS WILL UN-INVITE YOU FROM HAPPY HOUR. IF YOU USE IT IN BLOGGING, LIKE I AM RIGHT NOW, IT'S WAY UNPROFESSIONAL.

BUT NOT TODAY!

I'M SURE WE ALL REMEMBER THE EARLY DAYS OF THE INTERNET, WHERE WE WERE INSTRUCTED ON THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF PROPER NETIQUETTE AND TOLD THAT USING CAPS LOCK WAS TANTAMOUNT TO SCREAMING, AND THUS RUDE AND NOT ACCEPTABLE. PLUS, IT'S HARDER FOR PEOPLE TO READ.

BUT IT'S PRECISELY CAPS LOCK'S POSITION AS A NET TABOO THAT HAS LED TO ITS PARTIAL RENAISSANCE. CAPS LOCK IS NOW A COMIC TOOL, USED AS A SORT OF SPECIAL VOICE THE SAME WAY ALL-LOWERCASE TYPING HAS ITS OWN DISTINCT FEEL. IT WORKS WELL WHEN USED LIKE A SPICE—A DASH HERE AND THERE.

DESPITE ITS COMIC POTENTIAL, THE POTENTIAL EXTINCTION OF ALL CAPS IS AN ISSUE THAT THE FOUNDER OF INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY, A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER NAMED DEREK ARNOLD, TAKES VERY SERIOUSLY. AS HE TOLD THE DAILY DOT:

"The era of smartphones and new keyboard layouts (see the Google Chromebooks as an example) is troubling. There could be a generation of sub-millennials who don't even know they can type using only capital letters without holding down a shift key...This isn't a joke, it has real engineering implications, and in the face of growing industry overseas I think we need to reexamine our keyboard layouts to see if this is really a good idea to be shaking up such a fundamental aspect of our online existence."

(ARNOLD IS REFERRING TO THE FACT THAT CHROMEBOOKS SHIP WITH A SEARCH KEY IN PLACE OF THE CAPS LOCK, ALTHOUGH YOU CAN REASSIGN IT BACK TO CAPS.)

GOD SAVE THE CAPS. NOW, I DARE YOU TO SEND YOUR BOSS AN EMAIL WITH CAPS LOCK ON. JUST TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.