Is typing in ALL CAPS confrontational?
I recently read an article where a lady was fired from her job for typing an instructional memo to her coworkers in all Caps. The company said the memo "sounded confrontational". I often type in caps if I feel something is important, but do not usually intend to be confrontational. Do you feel that the employer was correct by stating that by her typing in all caps that she was being confrontational?
I think firing someone for typing in caps is a rather extreme response, so on that point I would disagree that it was the correct thing to do. S/he should have just had a word with her and let her know that in this modern age writing in caps IS SEEN AS SHOUTING and can come across as confrontational, so may not be appropriate in some circumstances.
I agree, and I think it is annoying but not grounds for a firing. If you won't to emphasize what you're saying then you can use caps, but unless that is the case then you should probably just write normally.
Online, writing in all caps is considered shouting and from an etiquette point of view you really shouldn't do it. If you're a professional writing an instructional memo for your coworkers, there's really no reason why you would do it in all caps.
Without knowing more, I would jump to the conclusion that while her writing style may have been the excuse for firing her, I'm sure there must have been more to the story. It would probably have been a situation where coworkers had complained before and managers felt they needed to do something.
Actually on reading the article, I see that she successfully filed suit against the company. It does sound like her coworkers had complained in the past, but since they hadn't documented and spoken to her about it before firing her for "creating disharmony", the company lost it's case.
Any one interested can read more on it here:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic … d=10594014
It's definately extreme and sounds like it was used as an excuse to fire someone they probably wanted to get rid of anyway for other reasons. However, the way we write is a lot more important than we sometimes give it credit for, not just our capitalisation, the words we use and how we write.
How often have you received an e-mail from a co-worker that you thought was confrontational only to realise it wasn't what they meant at all when you talked at lunch?
Writing removes all the body language we use in conversation which leaves us open to be misconstrued in what we're trying to say. This can often lead to misunderstanding and while capitalisation as an example might be meaningless for one, it could be very important to the other.
I think just reading over what you're about to send or post, before you send it helps. Often times I think, oo, that doesn't sound right and change something for this very reason.
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