So there I am typing an email to someone who sits somewhere between a friend, an acquaintance and a business partner. I had begun the email typing very quickly, not even taking the time to hit the shift key to capitalize his name.
At the end of the email, as is customary, I nailed the shift key and typed my ‘W’. That’s short for ‘Wayne’ if you are curious. Just before I pressed send, I realized that my recipient’s name was underlined by the browser’s spell check feature, but my ‘W’ wasn’t. Immediately, I thought ‘This will look bad if my name is capitalized but his name is not.”
Then the real thought struck me:
Why are the names of mortals like us capitalized at all?
I did a search in a major search engine and to my surprise, I couldn’t find an article on this topic. I could find many articles about how and when to use capital letters, but not why we use them.
I can understand capitalizing God’s name because God is God – He is worthy of a capital letter -He created the heavens, the earth and all that is therein. But not me. Nope. I’m not worthy of a capital letter – my poop stinks and I talk too much. I’m not worthy of having my name distinguished as if I have done some great thing in this world. And even if I had done some great thing in this world that some human thought was important, did that warrant a capital like God? Did I create flowers and DNA and the stars and the moon or a newborn babe or the eagle soaring in the air? Methinks not.
Don’t get me wrong. I think people are important. I think they are so important that God sent His own Son Jesus to die for them, for crying out loud; You don’t see Him doing that for pigs or cows – not that they don’t have their place in creation. So people are dearly important. However, I think it’s arrogance and ego that started the capital letters on people’s names. Let’s humble ourselves a bit and not think of ourselves as so great.
So, starting today, I encourage you to start removing the capital letter from all these people’s names. If they would allow you to put their thoughts and the rotten condition of their heart on a big screen, the world would quickly see (in HD quality) that they do not deserve a capital letter. So, backspace, type your boss’ names again without the capital. Be sure to include a link to this article so they don’t blame you for this act of what they will probably consider defiance, rudeness or lack of English language proficiency.
If you don’t buy into the theological reasons for killing the crapitals, at the end of the day, think how much faster you could type if you didn’t have to hit the bloody shift key for every ‘proper name’.
-wayne taylor, december, 2012