In Don Marquis's great archy and mehitabel poems, a cockroach named Archy takes over a typewriter in a newspaper office after hours and punches out the story of his life in free verse. Because he has to jump on each key--he's a cockroach, after all--he can't operate the shift or punctuation keys, and all of his poems are in lower-case letters.
The opposite problem afflicts many corporate writers, whose infatuation with the shift key results in prose so liberally capitalized that it appears to be translated directly from the German or copied from the manuscripts of Thomas Jefferson.
Here's what I mean. A trusted source, Mr. Inside, sent me the corporate memo from which I've extracted this paragraph. (The name of the company has been changed to protect Mr. Inside's position and pension.)
One of our Company’s goals is to make LargeCo a Great Place to Work. Part of that goal means that we hire and retain the Best People. To that end, I wanted to inform you of some steps we are making to strengthen our Background Check Policy and Code of Business Conduct.
Ah...the Best People. They're much better than the best people, don't you think? But, frankly, not quite as good as the BEST PEOPLE.
What's happening here is the conflation of capitalization with status. Why, our Background Check Policy is so important, the writer seems to say, that it's practically a brand name! (TM symbol TK.)
The most common form of this misuse is in the wanton capitalization of job titles: Jane Jones, the Executive Director of Organizational Effectiveness; LargeCo has so many Senior Vice Presidents that no one is available to fetch coffee.
Wrong and wrong, according to both the Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition). Both sources agree that the only time job titles should be capitalized is when they precede personal names. And that includes the guy at the top of the org chart. It's President Abraham Lincoln but Abraham Lincoln, the president. The exception is when the title is used alone, in place of a personal name: "Up yours, Mr. President!"
Back in the 18th century, when English orthography was still in flux (a state toward which we may once again be careering), nouns were often capitalized in the Teutonic style. Today, according to Chicago, when rule-breaking initial capitals are used, they indicate irony--the equivalent of air quotes: "Oh, please stop--that's Too Much Information."
Come to think, maybe LargeCo knew exactly what it was doing with all those upper-case letters. A Great Place to Work? Yeah, right--wink-wink, nudge-nudge.