IS THIS THING ON? HELLO? OKAY HERE’S MY BLOG POST Kevin | February 2nd, 2011

First, an admission: Back in the early days of the ol’ world wide web, I would patiently wait through the screeching sound of dial-up to spend the night in “True PUnx” or something of that nature.

Here’s where my shame comes in … every night, I would select the most hideous  shade of gamma-irradiated -Incredible-Hulk-green to type in. Looking at it would melt your eyes out sorta like that guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I guess it was funny to me or I was a troll before I knew what trolling was. But that was then- I quickly realized that my insights on all things True PUnx were overlooked on account of the fact my content was surpassed almost entirely on account of my delivery.

So years later, I find my penitence in the form of cruise control for cool, a.k.a: Caps Lock.

It conveys URGENCY. It lets people know you’re not just frustrated but VERY frustrated. IT ASKS YOU WITH NO PAUSE FOR BREATH ABOUT A PARTICULAR MATTER OF GREAT IMPORTANCE. It has a multitude of uses, all of which amount to shouting. And let’s not forget, it’s kinda annoying to those reading it.

And its time has come and gone. Google took the lead with a much overdue removal of the caps lock key on their new laptop, replacing it with a search button.

Is caps lock really that big a deal? Eh, in the grand scheme of things, not really. But I think Christopher Beam illustrates the point well in his  Slate article on the caps lock removal:

“Modern-day personal computing—surfing the Web, writing school papers, chatting online—doesn’t require nearly as much capitalization. As of 2010, the most-common Caps Lock users are enraged Internet commenters and the computer-illiterate elderly. The key’s location makes it a frequent target for an aCCIDENTAL STRIKE when your pinky reaches for the ‘a.’ Worst of all, Caps Lock occupies prime real estate that could be deeded to a more useful key, like Control or even a second Enter button.”

We have so many awesome ways of communicating with one another, and new ones are popping up every day. But unless we take a step back and work more on how we’re expressing ourselves, the actual focus of our message will get lost.

What do you guys think? Are there any caps lock advocates out there? What other features need to be put to pasture. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Aw, heck. I can’t resist: THANKS FOR READING.

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  • copyangels

    Nice post! So, the removal of the caps lock key. Kind of like Botox for your laptop. Nobody will ever really know how angry you are. :)

  • http://twitter.com/thepositivespin Ali Finelli

    no me gusta el “caps lock” … I dig it the outlook, let’s lose it! One can always substitute mutliple exclamations!!!!! (another one of my favorites, not) to show how upset they are, no?

  • not jeff clark

    LOL!!!111one

    I’m sorry.

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  • Kevin

    Thanks guys, glad to see I’m not alone on using indoor voices. Honestly, though: if we spoke like we typed, we’d be a nation of screaming lunatics, constantly laughing out loud. Just a thought :)

  • http://www.philrobertsdesign.com Phil

    Caps will always be a big part of design though, and I think many designers would find it quite irritating holding down the shift key whilst typing out slogans!

    “Caps Lock occupies prime real estate” if we didn’t have it, it would take up a whole hand whilst you type.

    Phil Roberts
    PRO CAPS LOCK

  • Darthy

    I absolutely agree. As a designer, I would find it a HUGE (forgive me) pain in the butt to hold down the shift key at times when all Caps is necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianpensinger Brian Pensinger

    Hit the shift key twice really fast? Seems like a better idea than that stupid key.

  • Jauxwee

    I really love using the caps lock key at work while i’m designing. Generic informative posters, at least at my place, tend to have tons of capital letters in them. It would waste tons of my time trying to type with my left pinky on the shift key the entire time. Anyways, why not (on the mac laptop keyboard) switch the 2nd enter button (next to the arrow keys) with the caps lock button?

  • EYEQ

    Well … we have a problem here. There is a general action against loud voice everywere whilst in the big cities all over the world you hear nothing BUT extreme noise. Isn’t that strange? The strangest thing though, is that instead of acting against all this “city-noise” we take it on the caps lock! Can you believe that? (Why not putting hydrochlorid acid on the keybord and let it spray it on us when we use the caps lock key more than once?). The bottom line is simple: freedom of speech is EVERYTHING. Quiet or loud makes no difference; nobody can decide if I WANT TO USE THOSE #%@$ WORDS in capitals or not but me. And of course if nobody wants to listen to me then … that is my problem not “caps loc”‘s!

  • http://www.thejadednyer.net thejadednyer

    I’m torn; I agree that the placement of the caps lock key can cause accidental capitalizations (it happens to me all the time), but to do away with it all together would be annoying to me, especially when writing press releases and such that require headlines in all caps. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up that convenience just yet.

  • Guest

    Methinks Brian Pensinger has an idea…

    Or why not just place the Caps Lock key along with the Num Lock key to avoid accidental pinkie presses? Unlike Brian I think the Caps Lock key still has its uses.

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