Should You Capitalize?


Unless you are e. e. cummings, the odds are quite good that you usually use capital letters for many things in your writing, but my question is how do you feel about the first letter of each line in a poem? Dropping the first letter to lowercase makes it feel to me as if you are simply talking as you would in a paragraph, and especially if you are rhyming (which as you know I normally avoid like the plague) hopefully keeps your readers from reading each line on its own, as if it had no grammatical connection the line that came before or the one after.

That is all well and good, but has anybody explained this to Microsoft Word? If you don’t want every line after a return to start with a capital, you have to go into some toolbar menu and unclick the default. And of course, with each new (usually worse, less convenient) version of Word, the Byzantine lengths to which you must go to achieve this get more annoying. For this reason, among others, I have been being lazy, and capitalizing.


So Sad to be Sans Serif


So Google just “upgraded” its logo, by taking all the pretty serifs off and making the current logo look like something out of a cheap children’s chapter book. Any subtlety it used to have is gone. I am surprised they kept the colors. “Upgrades” like this drive me nuts. Microsoft Word “upgrades” in a similar manner, taking all the useful things I use constantly and hiding them in a different menu or behind a ruler I would never think to use, something that automatically generates, for example, a memo. Why on God’s green Earth would I ever need to automatically generate a memo? Nobody even uses memos anymore, not since the invention of email. But this is the global corporate world for you. Rather than sticking with something that works well, we have to change it up so you buy a new one that won’t work nearly half as well and takes too much work to learn.

And if you think all this is just my opinion, it turns out that Sarah Larson from The New Yorker agrees with me. “In streamlining its logo, Google took something we trusted and filed off its dignity. Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY”