Thursday, March 3, 2011
A Capital Issue
According to dictionary.com:
capital (cap·i·tal) : larger or more prominent; it may also suggest preeminence or excellence
blog (blawg; blog) : online journal where an individual... presents a record of activities, thoughts, or beliefs.
This concludes today's vocabulary lesson.
Now, moving on to why you've just had a vocabulary lesson today. (Trust me, there's a point to this...somewhere.)
I was typing out my Facebook status this morning when I came to a few words that all the rules* say I must capitalize, and yet my fingers did not want to cooperate. At all. I literally had to pause and then very deliberately depress the shift key with one index finger and the desired letter with the other. It was draining. But you see, lately I'm having trouble capitalizing lots of things. And to think it all began with a joke...of sorts. Allow me to explain.
You all know I'm a HUGE Yankees fan. LOVE MY YANKS!!! : ) And anyone who knows anything about baseball knows all about the HUGE rivalry between the Yankees and the Boston red sox. (Aha! There's a hint as to where this is all going...) So one day I'm typing a reply to a friend (who happens to be a sox fan) on Facebook when my finger missed the shift key and I failed to capitalize the 'r' in red. I immediately began back spacing to correct it when it hit me: IT DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE CAPITALIZED!
(Yes, I really do think this way. Sad, isn't it?)
And so began my capital issue. I simply refuse to capitalize words, titles or phrases that I feel are undeserving of that suggestion of preeminence or excellence. So there you have it.
Disclaimer: I don't want you to worry. I promise to never take this power of non-capitalization for granted and I won't throw it around unnecessarily. ; )
What's that? You want to know what was in my Facebook status that got me so worked up about all this? Well let me tell ya.
westboro baptist cult.
Long story short (sort of): Our local news reported that an anti-bullying bill was making progress and had been extended to include the bus stop and cyber bullying as well. (I think this is great! We need to protect our kids however we can and stricter punishments are needed.) But that was immediately followed up by the story of our Supreme Court (that was tough to capitalize this just now...) ruled that westboro baptist cult is protected by the right to free speech. The irony of those two stories running back to back hit me pretty hard. How are the two situations all that different? wbc is just a group of bullies spouting hatred at the most painful time possible. It seems to me that it's a all pretty contradictory. And I can see what the future holds: a school-aged bully gets caught and reprimanded, then sues the powers that be for violating his right to free speech. And our Supreme Court? They'd obviously back him up on that.
So I've said all that to say this: If you see a word in my blog that should be capitalized but isn't, it's probably just an expression of personal opinion. After all, that's one of the reasons I have a blog. ; )
*Regarding rules: I don't proclaim to be perfect and I'm sure there is rarely a post on this blog that does not contain grammatical errors, poor punctuation and even misspellings. I try to edit and proofread, correcting what I find and hoping I'm not missing too many. I truly am a stickler for the rules I learned in school even though many of those rules appear to be ignored in this day and age. But I also want to come across as a friend with whom you're having a conversation. I want to sound natural and not pretentious, therefore I also tend to write the way I would speak even when it is not grammatically correct. I mean really, how many of us worry about that sort of thing during casual conversation? I appreciate the rules of grammar and punctuation but I don't allow them to...well, totally rule my life. ; )