This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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14 June 2013

CAPITALS are gone from US Navy messages

It’s official in the US Navy. CAPITALS are out. Sentence case is in.

The US Navy estimates savings of US$15m, as they'll now be able to send messages by ordinary email rather than specialised systems. 

The former ‘all capitals’ rule was a hangover from 19th century teletype machines, which didn’t have lower case letters.

The Navy also says that sentence case is more readable. We agree. The letter shapes are easier to identify, and the reader doesn’t feel like they’re being shouted at. And sentence case is the modern way to write.

Read the BBC news item about the decision

Read the media release from US Fleet Cyber Command

Not sure what the differences are between the ‘cases’ that typesetters use? A case is the way you use capitals to punctuate your writing.
  • Title Case Looks Like This — Most of the Words Start With a Capital Letter.
  • This is sentence case, with a capital letter at the start, capital letters for any proper nouns like ‘US Navy’, and a full stop at the end.