Writing in All Caps Is Like Shouting

You may think it's just for emphasis, but think again

What to Know

  • Writing in all capital letters ("all caps") is often interpreted as shouting, and is therefore discouraged.
  • Consider instead using a bold or italic font to emphasize text.

Whether composing an email, a text, or an instant message, it's usually best to use sentence capitalization, which means don't use all caps. Why? Because when you write in all capital letters, recipients interpret it as the equivalent of shouting.

High Angle View Of Alphabets Over White Background
Classen Rafael / EyeEm / Getty Images

Types of Cases

Here are descriptions of the different capital cases:

  • Mixed case or sentence case: This is a mixed case sentence with only the first word and proper nouns such as John Smith capitalized.
  • Title case: The First Letter of Most Words Is Capitalized in Title Case.
  • Lowercase: this sentence is written all in lowercase letters.
  • Randomly mixed capitalization: RandOmLy MixeD mEaNs you wRitE UsiNg capiTal LeTTeRs aT RanDom.
  • CamelCase: This case doesn't usually apply to sentences but rather to brand names with a capital letter in the middle, such as FedEx or WordPerfect. Use with a brand is acceptable, but that's about the only time you should capitalize letters in this way.

When to Write in All Caps

Though it's generally considered rude to use all caps, there are times when it's appropriate, just as it's sometimes appropriate to raise your voice when speaking. Such situations include when you're genuinely upset and feel the need to express yourself freely, or when you want to call attention to certain words or phrases.

All caps are best used only for short strings of words rather than full sentences. You could choose instead to use italics or bold to set off text for emphasis.

Was this page helpful?