There seem to be two types: Those black-homepage, bare-it-all-online teenage girls, the ones with too much artistic ambition and not enough self esteem. They write angsty and sometimes pretentious poetry and are using the lowercase "i" intentionally, to project a certain image.

Then there are those who are too lazy to capitalize anything, and, in addition to the drastic grammatical transgression that I describe here, also like to use the (lowercase!) letter "u" in place of the word "you".

You cannot spend more than a few days online (unless you only look at business webpages designed by people who are paid to have good grammar) without running into some variation on these two basic personality types. They are a necessary and necessarily annoying part of any online community.

You know, grammar is (in part) a matter of convention. We all agree to capitalize the first person singular subject pronoun, and all is fine. If you don't agree, you incur the penalties associated with being pointlessly original.

IMHO, those conventions are handy. Anytime I see that big I thing, I recognize it immediately.
Anyway, it is not a holy matter: one could as well start writing "y" instead of "and" - it is much shorter, isn't it ? So let us not look for bullshit reasons like "Ooooh, the Shift key is so terribly far from my little fingers on this big keyboard".
I mean, one could as well drop punctuation ... - it boils down to attitude. You don't capitalize that pronoun? The message that comes across is that you don't give a damn about other people's reading convenience. And perhaps, you are so convinced of the excellence of your thoughts that you do not even try to package them well.

This is of course a dangerous attitude, as many corporate web site designers have discovered.

Why is it that self esteem is being connected to capitalization? Leave it to the humans. I didn't sleep very well last night, I wonder if perhaps it is because my parents didn't hit me when I was a child. There are enough connections in the world (billions even) without creating imaginary ones (or at least ones that make broad generalizations).

That being said, sometimes capitalization of anything, including I's, simply doesn't seem, or look, right. When I node song lyrics, I hate to have the first letter of something that is not technically a sentence capitalized. It just does not look right. Everyone is so keen to judge others by the tiny little bits of their person. We are more than our words, more than the way we write our words. You can learn much from people by reading their content, but it's so hard sometimes for humans to admit that they just don't know why someone does something. They don't bother to ask the person, they just assume and create reasons in their own heads. This is okay but.. maybe it's best to leave them there, especially if they aren't very nice.

Stream of consciousness. When it falls out of my head, it doesn't have capitals, sometimes pauses (comma), but never capitals. If I am writing a factual node, it seems appropriate to capitalize and punctuate and check spelling. It's important - formal. My head isn't formal. I don't care if my non-capitalized i's rest at the bottom of the Findings: list because I didn't bother to alter them to do otherwise, but I do care if someone has trouble finding a factual node because I was sloppy about it. I use e2 as a reference quite often and it only makes sense to try and contribute to its usefulness in that respect.

Everyone is a critic, including me, but there are just some things that don't need to be ripped apart so badly.
It's a matter of when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want to speak English, you must adhere to the grammatical and stylistic exigencies of the language. For whatever reason, English has the convention of using a capital "I" to refer to oneself. Why? Perhaps because a capital "I" is easier to handwrite than a lowercase one. That's my theory, but it's probably more complicated than that. Teachers told me to treat "I" as a proper noun, and thus it ought to be capitalized right along with "Maine", "John", "December", and "Tuesday".

Language is not a place for you to express your individualism. We have more media for that than it is convenient for me to describe here. Language is standardized for a reason. Way back when, it had to be standardized or there'd be errors in communication. Errrors in communication meant lost opportunities, inconvenience, and worse. This sentiment has survived to this day. If you're not using the widely accepted "correct" form the language, then you're making it harder for others to read your English. Years of reading have instilled in me the reflex to equate a lone capital "I" with a referece by the writer to himself or herself. If you refuse to capitalize "I", it takes a few milliseconds longer for my cognitive responses to analyze your sentence. And I've already become minutely exasperated with this inconvenience as a result.

Yes, language does change. But mind you, it's a VERY slow evolution. The median form of any language will not change in, one, two, or even three generations at all. And certainly you, the "rogue capitalizationalists", will not be the ones to exact this change in English grammar. Many people will not even consider this a legitimate stylistic choice. The VAST majority of English speakers accept "I" as "correct", and if they ever lapse, it is only out of laziness. (Which, in my opinion, is hardly a much better excuse. However, those who do this out of laziness still recognize the capital form as being correct.)

It is worth noting, though, that I am not a stickler for capital letters. I am only a stickler for correctness. We can expect a very specific grammatical and syntactical behavior from the English language. Breaking these conventions not only annoy native speakers, but seriously increase the difficulty levied on non-native speakers, who have just as much right to participate in E2 as we do. Mind you, I would not condone the following sentence, in French:

Je veux dormir, parce que Je suis fatigué.

You will get several snickers from the French-speaking crowd if you try and write that. You see, the convention in French would consider it downright wrong to put a capitalized je in the middle of a sentence. French speakers expect it to be all lowercase. So, if you were to type something in French, you'd better not break the conventions of that specific language either, or you'll be making it harder on them. They have their reasons why their language is like that, and we have ours. It is a disrespect to all English speakers when you personally decide the rules which they all follow do not apply to you.

So, in conclusion, you should make a statement with your thoughts and reason, not with the letters you use to express your thoughts and reason. Thank you, have a nice day.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.