People writing "i" instead of "I" - an epidemic?

Jump to Last Post 1-27 of 27 discussions (61 posts)
  1. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 9 years ago

    I see it more and more, people incorrectly writing "i" rather than "I". This, I have seen in emails, in forum posts, everywhere. Has it become an epidemic or a permanent fixture? What can be done to turn things around?

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image59
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      ha ha ...i do it all the time...but when i'm writing informally...i consider text, email and forum posts as a very informal way of communicating....i understand the correct way to write...hey, i like it when folks make up words too...Ralwus is good at that....sorry 'bout the i thingie.......tongue....and all of my periods..................................................................... big_smile

    2. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I often do it when I am writing on my iPad smile

      But never in articles.

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I'm a bit surprised that you would do that, as I haven't noticed. Thanks.

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Shouldn't it be 'an epIdemIc'?

          Just kidding big_smile

          i do try to use the good spelling and grammers no matter what i'm writing...

          No, I just can't do it... I can't force myself to write like that, it causes headaches.

          I don't think it's going to get any better though. To be fair, English is a living language, so it could become absolutely proper to use 'i' in the future.

          1. profile image0
            Website Examinerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Good points, and I agree that things are changing over time. This does not mean that one has to like the changes, and each person must decide for themselves whether or not to use the strengths and powers inherent in the English language. To capitalize "I" is a strength, as it makes that stand out - so why not use it.

            1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
              Marcy Goodfleischposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I agree, Jaxon and WE - I stop and correct any wrong spellings, capitalization errors or anything else, even when I text. Nothing OCD about me, I guess. Sometimes I don't catch things on a mobile device, due to the teeny print (and my not-so-young eyesight).  Then it makes me crazy when I see a small typo somewhere.

              I'm surprised if people get the "i" on an iPad rather than "I" - it corrects automatically.

              1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
                Uninvited Writerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                I disabled the self correcting on my iPad because it caused some hilarious errors smile

        2. Uninvited Writer profile image82
          Uninvited Writerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Not usually on purpose just when I'm in a hurry I sometimes forget to hit the cap key smile

        3. Greekgeek profile image91
          Greekgeekposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          It's an iPad epidemic.

          Typing on an iPad is somewhat difficult, and capitalization typos are common. Editing is also more difficult than on a computer. One's fingertip cannot pinpoint something as small as the letter "i" precisely, so one often has to select the word in front of the "i", delete it, then retype both. I fear I am lazy and sometimes don't bother fixing single iPad typos in forum posts unless I see another typo which also requires editing.

          There's a secondary iPad problem: many sites hard-code font sizes for text entry boxes that are slightly too small small on tablet screens. When typing an entry, I cannot see the difference between I and i on my iPad. (Then again, I have a variable vision problem, and sometimes can't see the difference even on my computer which is set to large type.)

          Behold, growing pains of new technology. I think text-editing and selection need to improve on tablets.  In the meantime,  we can all play the "guess who just bought an iPad" game every time one of our friends starts typing like a drunk.

          The irony is that I, too, had to turn off the iPad's autocorrect because it kept introducing malaprops. If I didn't have an expanded literary vocabulary, I probably wouldn't have that problem, so I could have left the autocorrect on and avoided the "i" issue.

          1. recommend1 profile image60
            recommend1posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            It was epidemic long before the i-pad - this is just the latest glitch machine to expand it.

    3. lobobrandon profile image89
      lobobrandonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Oops, i guess i never do it or do i? tongue

      I automatically type a capital and had to change it in the above line wink But sometimes I happen to miss out on the shift + i - in case I'm typing fast so it could happen unintentionally cool

    4. profile image0
      setarehposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Oooh, i do that too but only if it's informal, to be fair.
      I would worry more about text language than this though . . . i cannot stand it when people 'tlk lyk dis nd dt' It just sounds insulting.
      I promise I won't rant.

      1. Trish_M profile image83
        Trish_Mposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I agree!

    5. ladeda profile image60
      ladedaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I think we can attribute the "i" to texting. I personally remember receiving graded assignments in school and finding red marks galore when I forgot to capitalize an I, indent a paragraph, or spelled a word incorrectly. I wonder if those red marks are now used more leniently?

    6. Rhonda_M profile image75
      Rhonda_Mposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, "i" is quite prevalent. I teach writing classes in a college so I can vouch for that. I agree that texting has contributed to the "i" epedemic and people need to be reminded that the classroom and workplace are not the same as the wireless phone.

    7. Jonathan Janco profile image61
      Jonathan Jancoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      i have been doing this for twenty years. i hope i will someday get credit for starting the trend. i will be able to look at that and say i started that.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 9 years ago

    i am at a loss...

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I do it often in poetry but never in formal writing. I do notice a lot of sloppy 'speech' all over the place, though. Maybe texting is part of the problem. In 50 years, the language will have changed dramatically in everyday writing just like it has from the olde worlde language. Let me put it another way:

      i do it ofn bt nvr n frml ritng  lotta slopy spch all ovr t plce  mb txtg s prt of the prblm.

      1. ImKarn23 profile image78
        ImKarn23posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        i am guilty of i'ing as well, but - only informally! i think that when one types constantly, it just becomes simpler..

      2. SomewayOuttaHere profile image59
        SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        that just about sums it up nicely  big_smile

  3. Alastar Packer profile image80
    Alastar Packerposted 9 years ago

    People are told it's not cool to have "I" too much in their writings so could be a psychological thing. Or, going by what's on FB, any word that can be changed will be changed.

  4. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 9 years ago

    I really appreciate the feedback so far. Maybe I just don't come in "all the right circles."

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image59
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      i think you need to try yourself WE....

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I'd sooner jump off a skyscraper, but thanks for the invite.

        1. Debby Bruck profile image71
          Debby Bruckposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Glide down to earth from that height. Although, I wouldn't dare to jump, I'm like you and keep to strict formal writing for the beauty, structure and professional appearance.

          Now, if you are E.E. Cummings, you can take the liberty to do whatever you like.

          1. profile image0
            Website Examinerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Debby Bruck, that is wonderful news as far as I am concerned.

  5. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 9 years ago

    l just realized that one can do a capital l without using the shift or cap key. And have done so in the previous sentence.

  6. vespawoolf profile image94
    vespawoolfposted 9 years ago

    Wow, I got in late on this thread. All the good "i" jokes have already been used!

    1. vespawoolf profile image94
      vespawoolfposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Why not start a new thread on not using periods at the end of a sentence?

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Go ahead, if you like. Please interlink them, from here to there, and from there to here. I think we could end up with a whole series.

  7. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 9 years ago

    I think we should examine the "~" first. big_smile

  8. brakel2 profile image82
    brakel2posted 9 years ago

    I have seen it all the time in the UK. I thought it was the way they do it. Am I wrong? Somebody from over there needs to answer.

    1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
      mistyhorizon2003posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Noooooo, I am stunned you think this is the way we do this in the UK. We would always capitalise the 'i' unless it was not being used to refer to ourselves. Where on earth have you seen us doing this except in text messages (possibly)?

      1. brakel2 profile image82
        brakel2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I really thought it was done in the UK. This was an honest answer. Countries have certain ways of doing things. It is not a bad thing, just different. Thanks for answering my question. I am glad you clarified it for me.

        1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
          mistyhorizon2003posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          No problem. I admit I was a little horrified that you might have thought we did this as a matter of course when normally it would be considered a pretty bad typo if you saw it in a book, letter or document with a small 'i'. Glad to have cleared up the misconception smile

    2. Trish_M profile image83
      Trish_Mposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm English. smile

      I think that it's common (especially for youngsters) to use 'i', when texting, because, then, grammar just goes out of the window.

      Of course, it shouldn't be used in 'correct formal English', and one hopes that the kids know the difference.

      I have actually noticed a lot of young Americans using this 'text speak' on forums, etc, so it's not just an English thing.

      As for me, I like to use 'correct English', but, since I find texting difficult and time-consuming enough, as it is, I just enter whatever comes up ~ and it's usually 'i'. Sorry smile

  9. wayseeker profile image90
    wayseekerposted 9 years ago

    I teach middle school language arts and, while I understand the emergence of the "i" as a result of texting and chat rooms, I do have to say that it drives me absolutely crazy.  Among the first things my students learn is never to write "I" as "i" anywhere in my classroom and to put periods on the ends of their sentences.  Not to do so is to have your paper dropped in the trash. 

    That said, my purpose in my class is to teach them "formal" writing, and I do have a discussion with them as I am introducing them to the importance of writing "i" as "I" in formal language.  I openly recognize that "i" is perfectly acceptable when used in the right places.  It's less about strict right or wrong and more about audience and purpose.  Unfortunately for them, there are almost no appropriate purposes for the use of "i" in my classroom. 

    Of course, I'm afraid I simply can't stand to do it myself, regardless of the context.

    An interesting topic for conversation.  Thanks for posting it!

  10. flashmakeit profile image60
    flashmakeitposted 9 years ago

    If you are writing a quick message to a friend I do not see why a person writing  i would cause a problem. it is like typing : D

    1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Most of my closest friends are also professional writers - they'd cringe. We all met while working at the newspaper and as writers in other settings.

  11. ytsenoh profile image86
    ytsenohposted 9 years ago

    I don't like it, although I will say when texting I have done the "i" on inadvertent hurried text responses from saving myself from hitting the shift key, but that's to my kids, not to others. To me, it is saying "i am lazy."

    1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Great term for it; it's like saying you're lazy.  That nails it.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        To me, it seems that the use of i instead of I is equivalent to an intentionally  misspelled word.  Given that, the effort of deciphering the "word" is put onto the reader instead of the author - the writers laziness has simply transferred work to the reader instead of doing their own work.

  12. nybride710 profile image81
    nybride710posted 9 years ago

    I stop reading something after the second proper noun isn't capitalized.  It's a major pet peeve.

  13. CMHypno profile image91
    CMHypnoposted 9 years ago

    A hand writing expert would very likely say that someone using i instead of I probably has self-esteem issues, so maybe there are a lot of issues around self-worth in the world today?

    And agreeing with mistyhorizon - no it is not the way we do it in the UK and if you type i instead of I with a UK spell and grammar check switched on it will be highlighted as an error.

  14. Paul Kuehn profile image95
    Paul Kuehnposted 9 years ago

    I see it in a lot of my students' writing and I won't accept it.  As teachers, we will just have to insist that i is capitalized as I when referring to yourself.

  15. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 9 years ago

    I have finally taken the step to publish a Codex for Writing and Communication.

    Maybe this way, some people can improve their own habits and also show a good example for others to follow. "Good faith effort" is all that my Codex requires. If someone doesn't want to do that, then they can go elsewhere.

  16. Cardisa profile image90
    Cardisaposted 9 years ago

    I never use "i" as a word. I was never taught that so I find if really weird writing like that. I see it all the time and I usually skip over hubs with it. Hubs should have a professional appearance and "i" is not.

    Another thing I do notice is that many people do not space after a period. It's quite weird and your word processor should show a red squiggly line there.

    There was a forum recently where someone asked if they should use "i" or "I".

  17. TLMinut profile image59
    TLMinutposted 9 years ago

    I prefer "i" even though I don't do it -- it seems egotistical to capitalize the pronoun referring to oneself and not any others!

    I'd rather see "i" than "lose" and "loose" mixed up again.

  18. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 9 years ago

    Thanks to everyone for your feedback. This thread could end up in quite a literary discussion, but everyone is so peaceful. I enjoy hearing different perspectives, and feel that I am learning more than I expected.

  19. VendettaVixen profile image72
    VendettaVixenposted 9 years ago

    Things like this drive me nuts. I may react to it more because of my screen-reader - it reads "I" and "i" differently, and when you replace the former with the latter, it doesn't flow as well.
    Same with commonly confused words - they're/their/there, too/to/two, lose/loose (as someone already pointed out), fore/for/four, even the occasional tie/toy.
    I suppose if I were actually reading the words and not listening to a voice read it to me, I might not notice it as much.

  20. leni sands profile image73
    leni sandsposted 9 years ago

    Yep, it drives me crazy as well.

    My other half is always on the forums and always gets me to check 'it makes sense' before he posts.  The first thing I do is replace 'i' with 'I'.

    It can be distracting.  I think it is either a little laziness (lol) or just poor keyboard scales.  I have come to ignore it though - I think writers should be creative and if 'i' instead of 'I' is part of that creativity then so be it - it doesn't spoil the content, not really.

  21. Bill Yovino profile image90
    Bill Yovinoposted 9 years ago

    I do it when using my iPad, and here's the reason why. I had to turn of the iPad's auto-correction feature because it was always changing things in an undesirable way, like changing  "penguins" to "penis".  When you turn off that "feature", it also turns off the automatic capitalization of "I" and "I've".

  22. awordlover profile image90
    awordloverposted 9 years ago

    Blame e e cummings. I don't think he had a 'shift' key for capitalization. LOL

    Seriously, it is getting out of hand. Children becoming teens who have been brought up with texting, etc. are now writing hubs and websites using the same habits.

    I gave up years ago correcting notes that teachers would send home with my kids. Yep, I used to use a red pen and correct every single error. Then tell them when they learned letter writing, proper use of grammar and spelling (before spell check days), then they could rant about what my kid did.

    When I am hub hopping, and I see 'i" vs "I' and other grammatical errors, I flag them for excessive errors.  Often I go back to see if they have been corrected and I'd say about 20% cared enough about their work to correct them. The other 80% ignored the flag and the hubs are still in place unchanged.

    Good question!

  23. Debby Bruck profile image71
    Debby Bruckposted 9 years ago

    Hello Web Examiner ~ I have created a new thread linked to this one on the 'ampersand' over usage.


  24. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 9 years ago

    Sadly, I don't think the average young person has any idea who E.E. Cummings is. When do they have time to read? They're always connected. That's the epidemic we should be concerned with.

    1. Debby Bruck profile image71
      Debby Bruckposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Are you serious? I will have to investigate just exactly why ee cummings only used lower case lettering. I thought some poetic and artistic justification explained the use of his spacing and lettering, as if the lower case 'i' was emphasizing humility.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image88
        rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I didn't write the boxed quote above my previous comment. I'm sure she was kidding.

        As far as I understand, he used selective capitalization and grammar in his poetry only. There are times he used capitals in his name.

  25. Specialist5 profile image68
    Specialist5posted 9 years ago

    How ironic it was for me to find this forum thread today after spending this afternoon writing my next hub about grammar goofs and language laziness.  I love grammatical correctness and enjoy reading about it.  What surprised me most about the comments was the number of errors I found in some of them.  People making complaints about the errors were making errors themselves.  Two examples are grammer vs. grammar; epedemic vs. epidemic.

    It has to do with a number of issues, most of which I cover in my next hub due out soon. You'll be surprised the truths I've uncovered.

    For me, the only time "i" should be used is to spell ice cream and only when it's not at the beginning of a sentence.

    It all boils down to none of us being perfect even at our best. Remember, things are not always what they seem.

  26. alancaster149 profile image81
    alancaster149posted 9 years ago

    There might be something Freudian/Jung-ish about the trend. It might point to a collective inferiority complex. Or it might just be bone idleness - even 'couldn't care less as long as everybody understands my meaning'.

  27. recommend1 profile image60
    recommend1posted 9 years ago

    Although I expect that this comes with texting and other rapid message writing there may be more to it.

    Poets a while back, early 70's maybe, or even 30's maybe, started to do this as an expression of the reduced 'I am' that is the reality of life.  The big I is, in reality, a pretty powerless and pathetic individual told what to do every step of its life from conforming or being bullied at school, through the humiliations of petty bosses and being ignominious discarded in old age. 

    We are more i than I

    This can then be used as in religious discussions where the fictitious jesus character can be 'demoted' by losing the capital J.   US Politics has Obama and bush, UK politics has Winston Churchill and blair.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)