Why Use Proper Case?

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Today’s world of text messaging, Face Book posts, Twitter tweets, and smart phones applications have many people using only lower case letters in their communications. This blog entry is to point out a problem that may convince you to use appropriate upper case when you fill in an order form.

Consider the example:  “apt l06”.

Is this Apartment “106” as in one hundred and six, or is it “L06” and in “ell zero six”?

Depending on the font used to translate your entry, the number one is hard to distinguish from the lower case letter “L”.

So, if you live in apartment number one hundred and six , and if you write your address as Apt 106, I can assume since you capitalize the letter “A” in “Apt”, that the “1” in “106” is, in fact, the number one.

But if you lived in apartment number “L06” and you wrote: “apt l06”, what assumption can I make from the “l” in “l06”? Don’t say I should just cut and past the characters into the address line, for that just pushes the problem to the person delivering the package.  If you wrote:  “Apt L06”, I would have no question nor have to make any assumptions.

What prompted me to write about this case issue? I got an order to send something to a military base and they had an address line of “mfc llc”.  Initially I thought it was some military acronym and wrote the address as “MFC  11C”. But my co-worker pointed out that the “11c” was actually the LLC and the ‘mfc’ was the company name.

A day later, I was setting up an application on my smart phone to allow me to deposit checks into my bank account using the phone’s camera.  The instructions said that my user ID was the characters: “l006 followed by the characters I entered for my ID.  I had a number of failed attempts to log in until I realized that maybe the first character may be the letter ‘L’, not the number “one”. When I tried the ID with the letter “L” it worked. To even hone in the point, the first letter had to be the upper case “L”.  G0 f1gure!

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