Grammar and Punctuation in the workplace

16 Nov 2015

Let me start this post off by stating, that I do love grammar, and punctuation. I in no way consider myself an expert on the subject, but I am not ignorant on the subject.

Rewind over ten years ago, I thought of the gamertag SirCapsAlot because I capped a lot of people in the game Halo. It eventually became a common misconception, that it was because I Capitalized A Lot of Characters, which is just not the case. I eventually decided to make my gamertag all lowercase to circumvent that misnomer and misconception. In doing so, I eventually lowercased everything that I typed in chats to friends, family and colleagues.

So to my point of grammar and punctuation in the workplace. As in all of any piece of writing, it is inherantly debateable, and I am debating that capitalization in the workplace when talking to team members and others, is utterly pointless. Why? Nobody cares about capitalization in a chat message. Nobody is looking at your message and thinking "well, they spoke in all lowercase.. they must be uneducable."

Mind you please, that this only pertains to chat messages. Emails, and official writeups (for obvious reasons) should be capitalized. But chat messages using any sort of chat platform, it does not matter.

In my workplace, there are several individuals that are lacking in the WPM department. Watching them type, as a programmer, is a task in itself. However - watching them respond to a chat message (or even being on the receiving end of), is extremely painful to watch

This person is typing a message...

Sitting next to some of these individuals, I notice that a great amount of their time is dedicated to making sure that the capitalization is correct. It in my opinion is a waste of time to worry about capitalization.

Let me also make clear, that I am not advocating for letting syntax or lexicographical issues take place. It is frustrating seeing misspelled words, or shortened words (such as 'u' in supplantation of 'you').
I am also not advocating that we shouldn't use punctation. Punctuation is of course important for contexts, and general legibility.

So... people...

Don't worry about capitalizing anything other than pronouns. It is a waste of time, and waste of energy finding that shift-key.

Published on 16 Nov 2015 Find me on Twitter or StackOverflow