THE REAL CRIME OF ALL-CAPS
SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET, MANY ESSAYS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT GOOD MANNERS ON THE NET "NETIQUETTE" AND EVERY ONE OF THEM HAVE REASONED WITH YOU THAT TYPING IN ALL-CAPS RUBS PEOPLE THE WRONG WAY BECAUSE IT GIVES THEM THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU ARE YELLING YOUR MESSAGE.
While the metaphor of an e-mail screaming at you is oh-so funny and just perfect to liven up an otherwise boring guide to good e-manners, what does the field of design say about it? Why is it so annoying and difficult to read more than a headline in all-caps?
Well, it has to do with a little something called "word recognition." It's the way we all read. Learning to read begins with letter recognition sounding out words and then gradually works up to recognizing letter groupings: visually identifying a word by the unique shape that its lowercase characters create. Words in all-caps have a less distinct shape to them, uniformly rectangular. They're just not as easy to differentiate one from the next; hence a slow and tedious read.
shapes in the
to rough forms.
So, try using lots of exclamations (!) if you want to yell at length!!!! All-caps just makes your rant harder to read.
Ultimately, readers even acquire the skill of recognizing whole groupings of words "as much as" is a simple example which makes the whole process even faster!