US Navy to drop 'rude' all-caps messages

The tradition started in the 19th century, when teletype machines did not have lowercase letters.

By Kim Peterson Jun 12, 2013 3:57PM
Image: Navy ship © CorbisInternet users hate reading anything in all capital letters. It's the digital equivalent of shouting, a faux pas that's considered the height of online rudeness.

The U.S. Navy, however, has been communicating in all caps since the 19th century. And it's been a little jarring for young sailors especially to see capital letters used in orders and other official messages.

So the Navy is dropping all caps to make its communications "more readable and less rude," reports The Wall Street Journal -- which cheekily decided to write up the situation in all capital letters.

A Navy official told The Journal that the decision will save money. It's part of a new, cost-effective messaging system that comes online in August. "If an ancillary benefit is that sailors reading message traffic no longer feel they're being screamed at. . . that's a good thing, too," the official added.

Other units of the military still use all-caps, and other officers are hoping the rest of the Pentagon follows the Navy's example.

This is not an example of the Navy going soft, The Journal reports. "Only now is the Navy acknowledging that the rest of the world has embraced lowercase letters and that all-caps messages are deeply annoying," the newspaper added.

More on moneyNOW



637Comments
Jun 12, 2013 4:18PM
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Does this mean DIs will have to train recruits in a softer more whisper-like voice so as to not upset the feeling weelings of the poor little wittle wecwuit who feels he/she/it is being shouted at in a wude manner? :)

YOU THINK I AM BEING RUDE? YOU THINK I AM ANNOYING? IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK MAGGOT! YOU ARE NOT HERE TO THINK! YOU ARE HERE TO BE MY PLAYTHING! IF YOU THINK I AM BEING RUDE, IF YOU THINK I AM ANNOYING, PACK YOUR PINK SILKIES SWEET PEA AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY BELOVED CORPS!
Jun 12, 2013 6:11PM
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Wow. Seriously? We are changing military message traffic because someone thinks it might hurt someone's feelings?

We need that 2km comet to hit us sooner, not later.


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Really? Is this what the new Navy is concerned about? Tell those wannabe sailors to suck it up, this is the way it's been for decades and no one ever thought it was yelling! Damn texters can't use any noticeable grammar but they want the Navy to "stop yelling" at their sorry butts! Situational awareness guys-we're not texting to you, we're giving you orders and information! Wimps.
Jun 12, 2013 6:15PM
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In military text there was ALL CAPS for a reason, Navy/Marine Corps still teaches and has a use for morse code which does not distinguish upper vs lower case.  In regular teletype signal military speak and abbreviations are common so a lower in place of a cap coould misrepresent a word or message entirely.  It was all cap for a reason in the first place.
Jun 12, 2013 6:15PM
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WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT OVER.  "This is not the Navy going soft"...the hell it is. 
Jun 12, 2013 6:21PM
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This ranks up there with teachers not being able to use red ink while grading students papers anymore.
Jun 12, 2013 6:11PM
Jun 12, 2013 6:15PM
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Someone should file a "HURT FEELINGS" report.
Jun 12, 2013 6:21PM
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The reason it was all caps you nitwits is it was easier to rapidly scan and read under low light and with minimum sleep also less chance of mistaking an e for a c or an o etc. What a bunch of nitwits.
Jun 12, 2013 6:16PM
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WHAT A BUNCH OF SOFT PUSSYS MILITARY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS AND WE HAVE BECOME SO SOFT AND WENT GAY GLAD IM NOT IN ANY MORE
Jun 12, 2013 6:20PM
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Don't see why all-caps messages are rude. Seems to me that using all caps diminishes the possibility of error, and MAKES THE MESSAGE MORE READABLE.
Jun 12, 2013 6:13PM
Jun 12, 2013 6:21PM
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I keep wondering when we will go "too far" in our world of correctness. This may be it.
After thirty years in the Army, and beginning in an age of handwritten memos and briefs, we wrote only in caps and with an HB pencil or black ink pen. (The black was to ensure better copy from the Gestetner.)
Even the pussies had no objection to caps. Why do they today???
Please, General Scheisskopf, enlighten us.
This pisses me off!
WTF?

Jun 12, 2013 6:24PM
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IT'S TRULY FUNNY

 

The under 35 group consider using all caps as shouting and being rude meanwhile that same group

on a statistical level can't spell and have poor grammar skills. 70% of the resumes sent to employers have either typos, texting characters or spelling errors and they wonder why the group is under employed.

Jun 12, 2013 6:21PM
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PERSONALLY, ALL-CAPS IS EASIER TO READ. I USE IT FOR LETTERS FOR MY OLDER PARENTS WITH POOR EYESIGHT. ALSO IT MAKES MY CRAPPY NORMAL HANDWRITING LOOK FANCY.
Jun 12, 2013 6:15PM
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Typical candy **** little sailors of today AND yesteryear. Gotta babysit the little boys and not hurt their little feelings.
Jun 12, 2013 6:14PM
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Why is this an issue?  Why is this in the news?  Was someone really offended about ALL CAPS?  This is nothingness...

Jun 12, 2013 6:09PM
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Oh wow, something useless to report, who gives a $hit?
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