Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing in All Caps Causes Retardation

A study a couple of years ago found, tentatively, that writing in all capital letters can actually cause mental retardation. SERIOUSLY...

According to Michael Henley, PhD, one of the psychologists who were responsible for the study, the results were staggering: "When we first saw the results we could not comprehend how it could be possible that using all caps and 'txt speak' could have so dire effects on the mental health of a person. It showed that using 'txt speak' decreases a person's ability to spell words correctly, which is bad for it slows down the progress of a child or especially a teen and in some cases could even cause mild retardation. This in itself is a very alarming find." (Source)

Some say the study is flawed, but I do like what one commenter on that post wrote: Bulls*** research, people who write in all caps and "monkey english" are obviously already retarded.

At "Writing for and about Western Michigan University," you'll find a page of "Typography do's and don'ts." They give this sage advice: Perhaps the most frequently violated rule of readability involves the use of ALL CAPS (capital letters). Designers are often drawn to all caps because it forms neat, uniform, visual elements, or "blocks." Unfortunately, for precisely that reason, type set in all caps is more difficult to read.

Hat tip to, who says of the WMU typography advice, "They put it politely. Personally, I think it makes the author look like a raving lunatic at best, and more often a psychotic moron. Using all caps is ugly, hard to read and makes me want to ignore everything the author has to say."

Also See: