Archive for July, 2011

Life in Capslock

Friday, July 29th, 2011

When I was a little girl, I'd sometimes come across a title or a proclamation in all caps, usually in the books of male relatives who had libraries and oversized chairs in which to nap and finger the fabric and leather binding of volumes that smelled like the men themselves. Such streams of important words, I thought, were likely to be read aloud by a page with trumpet and deliciously pointed shoes, should the book be read aloud at all.

Imagine my horror, then, when the capslock began to transcend the realm of secret reading scenes and enter into my everyday consciousness. You can, of course, because at some point it likely made a rude invasion into yours, as well; parading on the back of a breakfast cereal box or splattered across a contest entry form, marching onto your computer screen from the likes of unknown salesmen or following you around like a caffeinated chihuahua while you were smiting digital foes and fumbling over complicated in-game squelch commands.

Some forms of capslock seem to be more acceptable than others. While it's easy to dismiss a not-so-casual chatterbox who types as though he were trying to look as big as possible in the presence of a grizzly bear, the ubiquitous over-sizing of the word "free" somehow fails to inspire as much ire. But the prospect of something being given freely should be enough to attract and excite on its own; decorating the word until it looks like something spelled out in the Cheshire Cat's teeth is enough to make me suspect it's entrapment, not altruism, the word wishes to convey.

What truly interests me about capslock, though, is whether it's able to move past the written word. It's been with us well before the world at large began to piddle its opinions onto keyboards, though it may not always be as easy to recognize. Certainly we've all seen, or worn, or both, a pair of BREASTS CAVORTING FORTH FROM BONDS OF SPANDEX, and many a capslocked utterance has escaped the lips of a righteous man and his FAITH AND GLORY IN THE LORD. But are there more subtle instances --perhaps even positive ones-- possible? A drowsy morning suddenly made bright and crystalline with COFFEE or a SUNRISE, or the SMILE of a kid completely given over to some joyful initiation with the world. Is an orgasm experienced in capslock? If I could spell one out I'm sure not all the letters would be politely undercase.

Do you ever feel as though you're living in capslock, or know someone who does? And is it just as annoying or comic as it is when written down, or can life in capslock be enjoyable?