Real Writers Never Write Anything In All Small Letters

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small letters lower case

youre not a writer if you write in all small letters

i get a lot of emails and messages from writers and authors

i also get book submissions along with book descriptions

but i get so annoyed when i get them written in all lower case letters with little or no punctuation

its not only lazy its impolite

very often its hard to tell if im being asked a question because there is no question mark

and run on sentences dont matter because there are no periods or full stops commas or any punctuation for that matter

can you imagine a writer not being bothered to use upper case and lower case

or well small letters and big letters for those who find this vocabulary easier

but they are often all too ready to find the shift key to SHOUT AND GET ANNOYED


You can blame the smartphone

Yes, sure. The smartphone, expediency and the need for brevity are all too easy excuses.

If you call yourself a writer or an author, then you should have at least some self-respect. Clearly, some do not have any at all.

I would shudder in horror if I failed to use a capital letter for I. I would kick myself if I forgot the apostrophe in it’s.

I would be devastated if I missed a full stop at the end of a sentence. Well, a period for my American readers.

But for some writers, who cares about punctuation and capitalisation?

wordprocessing the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog works just fine without me having to bother with expending the energy to press the shift key or add full stops just to please YOU

Well, sorry. That you can’t be bothered, really does bother me. I can suffer a missing comma easily, but with no capital letters or full stops, your utterances don’t make any sense.

It’s about as appealing as going to a dentist that you know doesn’t bother to wash their hands between patients.


hello derek my name is john smith and im a brilliant writer


Dear John,

My name has a capital letter. There is one at the beginning of my first name, middle name and last name.

They have been there since I was born. I like them a lot.

So, I’m very sorry, um, john.

You might be too lazy to use uppercase letters for your own name, but I insist on them being used for mine.

Well, I think I could be just as lazy as you and not bother replying, other than to mention that upper case letters and punctuation were invented for very good reasons.

By the way, you can call me Mr. if you like. The full stop is optional, but the capital M is not.

Really, how much effort does it take to press your shift key?

While I am sure John wouldn’t notice, I intentionally used uppercase and upper case. I could also have used upper-case.

But as he doesn’t use them, I am sure he wouldn’t take the time to investigate why all three are possible.


Language changes, but not the alphabet

Capital Letters

The English language differs from some others. It is not a controlled language; it is a reported language.

In other words, it changes and evolves over time, and dictionaries and grammar reference guides are updated to reflect the changes in use, register and vocabulary.

For example. With whom did you go to the cinema? 

When I was at school, this was the correct way to ask this question. Now, however, it is a question form that is rarely used, and ending with a preposition is now perfectly acceptable.

Who did you go to the cinema with?

But dropping the capital W at the beginning of either question is not acceptable.

Online writing, messaging, or texting and emails have changed our language. The word texting is a new addition, along with blogging, friending and sexing things up.

Change brings richness and versatility as well as the ability to adapt to current realities or explain new concepts.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn all demonstrate the changes in the use and application of our language.

But there are some basics that do not change. The alphabet, and punctuation.


Speed kills your reputation


Yes, I am getting a bit old in the tooth and I should understand that the world is now moving at a much faster pace.

There is a need for speed in everything we do.

Sending a quick message, a status update or mail to family, friends or work colleagues is faster with abbreviations, acronyms and text symbols.

But even cul8r, tgif or imo read better when capitalised. But small caps here or there, or not, hardly matters between friends.

What does matter is that when you call yourself a writer or author and write to be read, taking a lazy attitude to how you write can only result in demeaning, or killing your reputation as a writer.

When I receive an email or message from a writer who uses only lowercase letters, my first reaction is to shrug my shoulders and tag the message for a reply … one day, perhaps. But I probably won’t bother..

I have received a few emails and messages that were written in uppercase text. Well, being SHOUTED at is a great way to get me to do nothing at all.

Oddly enough, I cannot recall ever getting an email written in all title case. Well, not yet anyway.

In my mind, it is all about having pride in your work, and your reputation as a writer.

Sending me a book description with every word in lower case will naturally make me think that it is not a book that is at all worth reading.

In most word processors, it is easy to set up simple auto-correct to capitalise sentences. You can even set small capital letters. Smartphones and tablets have similar settings.

It’s not that difficult to punctuate, even if you are lazy or in a desperate rush.


Real writers are never lazy with a single word, or even a comma

I love writing, and I admire writers.

It is a passion, and for those who love our language, it is a creative art form.

Therefore, there is never a need to rush, hurry, take shortcuts or be lazy and disrespectful.

Writers write and give consideration to every almost every letter, hyphen and comma they write.

Those who do not, are not writers, even if they call themselves one.

A final note. Please excuse my sarcasm in this article. I know it is considered the lowest form of wit, but there are times when I simply can’t resist.


More reading: The Best Free Online Grammar Check With Punctuation Checker


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

3 thoughts on “Real Writers Never Write Anything In All Small Letters

  • July 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    The Romans used all upper case, no punctuation, no space between words and word order in sentence irrelevant. They did OK with it I suppose. That poet e e cummings did it his way and was successful too.

  • July 19, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I’m in total agreement with you, Derek!


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