And Richard Sterling, emeritus executive director of the National Writing Project, is, like, totally kewl with that:
“I think in the future, capitalization will disappear,” said Professor Sterling, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. In fact, he said, when his teenage son asked what the presence of the capital letter added to what the period at the end of the sentence signified, he had no answer.
"Informal Style of Electronic Messages Is Showing Up in Schoolwork, Study Finds," New York Times, April 25, 2008.
The study was conducted in 2007; it's based on eight focus groups and a survey of "700 nationally representative children, ages 12 to 17, and their parents."
Hmm. So all those places where full stops (periods) are used in English that don't denote sentence ends are to be forgotten, the Prof. thinks? Those kids et al. are to be commended for their dedication to simplicity. Or how about a pause...for thought? Or just a fade out...Bye now!
Language changes, but trying to predict which useful things will be lost strikes me as about as viable as predicting the weather in 10 years' time!
Posted by: Solidus | April 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM
Most writing systems have no distinction between small and capital letters.
Posted by: goofy | April 28, 2008 at 07:22 AM
That doesn't strike me as a reason to dispense with them, though. After all, lots of language systems don't have (or didn't have) punctuation, either. And yet somehow most people do find it useful.
Posted by: Solidus | April 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM
I'm not advocating the dispensal of capital letters. I'm just saying that we will survive if it happens.
Posted by: goofy | April 28, 2008 at 10:53 AM