NewYearsResolution: Avoid InCaps

This year, I resolve to minimize my use of incaps when writing about commercial products and companies. An incap changes a word into a logo, and has no place in journalism or commentary -- it's branding activity that colonizes everyday communications. It's free advertising.

So: "Iphone," not "iPhone" and "Paypal," not "PayPal."

Of course, this doesn't extend to the names of people that traditionally take an incap, like "McDonald"; nor to companies that are named for people, like "McDonald's."

Nor does it extend to technical descriptions that include CamelCase, including VariableNames and WikipediaPolicies.


As with every style question, the primary goal is clarity, and so it's common sense to make some other exceptions: "WhoRepresents.com" not "Whorepresents.com." But better to structure your writing to avoid ambiguity altogether: "Who Represents (www.whorepresents.com)"

It's a small thing, but it's amazing how much incapping leaps off the page when you start paying attention to it.

Loading...