to capitalize or not to capitalize…

capital letters

with violence pervading the world and a countless number of important topics to be processing together, i feel a little bad that i am using this space today to talk about capital letters.

but, alas, i am.

as you all know, i don’t use them. when i started this blog 6+ years ago, i had been writing in lower caps for almost 4 years already and i just wanted to keep everything consistent and the most “me” as possible.

at the same time, over the years i know it has driven some people crazy. and i do, indeed, know how to use capital letters (i just don’t like them, ha ha). when i write for other publications or in my other part-time job as an adjunct professor online, i have to tow the line and am used to using them when necessary.

i have been on a blog break for almost 2 months now and am really looking forward to coming back next week. however,  before i do, i wanted to get some quick input first.

for the first time in over 6 years, i am really open to the idea of moving to caps here if it helps readers.

because i prefer lower case, i don’t want to make that change if my data is off or it really doesn’t matter. so i have a little poll for you to give your two cents so i can decide what feels best. if you are willing, please take a few minutes and offer your input on the poll below & submit your results:  to capitalize…or not to capitalize.  there is no place on the poll for comments, so feel free to also leave any comments in the comments section.

i look forward to the results!

i also am excited to be back next monday; it’s been an awesome summer, though, and i have loved having a break. enjoy your long end of summer weekend and thanks for reading & taking time to share.

peace, kathy

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[poll id=”2″]

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life and online. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

36 Comments

  • I don’t mind at all, but my concern is that when I share/repost your writing, I struggle with wanting to maintain your signature style – keeping it ‘you’ – but others who (I know, shocking) not being familiar with your capital-less preference might not get it…or, perhaps, horror above horrors, thinking that I’ve dropped my standards. Haha. Sometimes I’ve wanted to ‘fix’ the caps – but realize that corrupts your style. And yes, since I’m a big fan, and a post-a-holic, it comes up with fair frequency. Oh, the dilemmas…

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    • thanks donna, thank you for reading all these years. i appreciate your input a lot and am just trying to take this all under consideration for sure.

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  • Oooo Kathy – so glad you asked. I am enough of a curmudgeonly word nerd that it slows me down reading through the unremitting lower case. Because it slows me down, I sometimes don’t read right away. And sometimes, thereby, I lose your post altogether in the clutter that is my inbox. I don’t want to lose those emails! As big a challenge is the one explained by “donnamathwig” below. I frequently wish to share your posts. The fellow curmudgeons who might need them most are least likely to read the lower case presentation. That means I must take the time to insert capitals all the while feeling unfaithful to you somehow. There is real trouble in the world – as you noted above – so why not relieve a tiny part of that by going Capital! :c)

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  • I know my mother (who was both English, and an English teacher) would be rolling in her grave (or should that be ‘urn’ as she was cremated) at the mere thought of “improper use of the English language”. However, for me, it’s the heart behind your words that matters 🙂

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  • I like it the way it is but I can change for the sake of others. 🙂 Hence I could go either way.

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  • I think it would be a good change. Plus, your blog entries will be known in the future as “lower case kathy” (early work) and “Upper case Kathy” (your later work).

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  • I voted I could go either way. It does make it a little easier to read with caps, but no big deal. But note this: When I first saw your title I thought maybe you were going into economic theory with some insights about principles of capitalism 🙂

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    • now that made me laugh. i won’t be spouting about any economic theory but i have a thing or two to say about capitalism and greed 🙂

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  • I voted that I could go either way, but I’m leaning toward no capital letters. It seems a stylistic choice, and I like it when people have their own style.

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  • to BE or not to be – that is the question !
    BTW – I could not see any place on this page to enter the poll and cast my vote.

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  • I do not have a smart phone and when I send texts I never use capital letters because it is such a pain. When it comes to blog posts though, I prefer the proper usage. I am involved in teaching English as a second language and think we should consider those folks too who are learning our language and may be reading.
    I love the wisdom you share in your posts!

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  • i prefer lower case and was once given a shift key as a gag gift! 🙂 i know people have their pet peeves and you’ll be getting lots of strong opinions. but you have my vote to stay with lower case! it’s much more appealing visually. 🙂

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  • thanks for the comments! i really appreciate them. for some reason, the poll is wonky and a lot of people haven’t been able to vote, no idea and not worth trying to figure out the techy side of things in this moment, but feel free to just send me a message or add it in the comments instead. i really appreciate the time people have taken to share that way. it helps a lot to hear from everyone!

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  • Your wee abbess thinks it is kind of you to consider the reading needs of your followers. I, however, think that there needs to be a place where you can be you…and if this blog is not that place, then what’s up with that? I know you will ponder all the comments and votes (worked fine for me)…and being a girl who’s concerned with the margins, I wonder if you’ll defer to the “capital-ists” (lol) minority. Whatever your choice, you will remain as loved as ever, sister!

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    • thanks dear abbess..it has been a good process for me that has to do with much more than capital letters 🙂 the best part is that me is me is me is me.

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  • It won’t let me vote. So my vote here is…Don’t change it. It is what it is and reflects who you are. And you are loving, kind and real that is more than enough.

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  • Please, please, please just don’t ever make it all caps – that is most annoying to read.

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  • The poetry of e.e. cummings seems a little odd at first until you start to feel the smooth flow of words unobstructed by capital letters. The lower-case “i” is also a reminder (and symbol) of your wisdom immersed in humility … in a medium in dire need of tinier “i”s voicing timeless love-filled truths. Pride is the poison of a prophet. Have we seen any of that lately? I rest my (lower) case.

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    • you are convincing 🙂 but i do think that i am going to experiment with a little switch solely for posts, that’s it, and see what it feels like. i think capital i’s can still be humble, ha ha.

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  • I like the lowercase. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I think it does give a humility and accessibility to your posts, and expresses your personality. As many others have said, choose what is you!

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  • I know I’ve come to this debate a little late, but I really want to thank you for using capitals. The main reason is because I teach lots of adults who have very poor literacy skills and it has such a detrimental impact on their lives. They would give anything to be able to write fluently and with accuracy, so it doesn’t seem right to not use punctuation if we are able to. It reminds me of the time I was with my friend’s teenage daughter in Uganda. We were staying in a village where some people didn’t have shoes. My friend’s daughter loves going bare-footed so she started walking around outside without shoes on. However, the elderly mother of our host noticed this and was very upset. She told her that it was not respectful to those who couldn’t afford shoes. Her argument was that if we can afford shoes, we should wear shoes! I really appreciate that in the whole scheme of things punctuation seems such a trivial matter, but I weep for my students whose lives are so hard because they can’t read or write very well. Having said all this, I think you have a wonderfully unique style of writing, and I really want to thank you for your blogs and your insights – I am challenged every time.

    Reply

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