The Instigator
natoast
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

capital letters

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,516 times Debate No: 29385
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

natoast

Con

full resolution: the use of capital letters is unnecessary and it would be beneficial to discontinue their use.

i will be arguing that capital letters are unnecessary and that our language would be better without them. this does not mean that i will be debating that we actually should remove capital letters from our language, but that it would be better if we did. what i mean by this is con cannot use any argument based on the difficulty of actually getting rid of capital letters, only on their usage and purpose.

first round acceptance
second round- arguments
third round- rebuttal
fourth round- any closing statements

that's right, i didn't use capitals!
imabench

Pro

Accepted with a capital A.
Debate Round No. 1
natoast

Con

what exactly are capital letters used for? the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, i. they have been a part of our language and many others for a very long time. but i can think of a few reasons why we would be better off without them.

first of all, take my round one paragraph. obviously you get the same message from it, regardless of whether or not i used capitals. so if i can convey the same idea with less effort, why shouldn't i? getting rid of capital letters would make our language more efficient, something any language should strive for.

secondly, consider the capitalization of proper nouns. one might make the argument that capital letters help us distinguish between what might be name for something between the name of Something. but how could one possibly think that in the sentence 'we are going to new york' that new york is a verb or general noun? if it was a general noun it would be improper grammar, and I don't know anyone who new york's. it's almost always obvious whether the author is referring to a name or a thing.
also, using capital letters hardly makes a sentence easier to understand. how, exactly, does capitalizing the first letter of a sentence augment the sentence in a positive way? the period or punctuation mark already tells you that the sentence is over, and it's generally not too difficult to understand when the idea in the sentence is complete. and since you capitalize every sentence, it's not as if it distinguishes certain sentences from each other. its a pointless exercise.

finally, and arguably most importantly, there's the new problem facing IMing and forums of noobs who talk in all caps. this is the event where some self important idiot talks with caps lock on because what they have to say is so important that it has to be in bigger letters then everyone else. this is an irritating problem that would be solved if caps where removed from our language. on the other side of the noob coin, their is the noob who actually has intelligent things to say but has poor grammar. simply because they forget to use capital letters, they are often shunned. i know I've done my share of ignoring bright young minds with poor education.

in conclusion, capital letters do nothing but complicate an already convoluted language, do very little to add to the comprehension of a text, and provides opportunities for abuse, therefore making it beneficial to remove them from our written language.
imabench

Pro

Lets examine the following two sentences.

"I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"

"I helped my uncle jack off a horse"

Now in sentence one, Jack is capitalized, meaning it is a person. The capital letter shows that you were helping you uncle whose name is jack, get off of a horse. In sentence two however jack is not capitalized, and you end up saying that you helped you uncle give sexual favors to a horse and continued to do so until the horse ejaculated sperm out of his horse penis....

That alone should be enough to argue how important and useful capitalization is. Just from capitalizing ONE letter you can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

There are several names people have that could also serve as verbs:
Bill, Buck, Buzz, Chase, Chip, Chuck, Drew, Jack, Pat, Rob, Stone, Sue, and those are the ones that are just off the top of my head. There is a great potential for proper names to be confused with verbs, and capital letters are immensly important for distinguishing between which is which.

"getting rid of capital letters would make our language more efficient, something any language should strive for."

And why should we be forcing English to get more efficient? You havent given any reason for why we should other then "well we should" which doesnt fly around here.

"how, exactly, does capitalizing the first letter of a sentence augment the sentence in a positive way?"

Consider the elderly, or for that matter anybody who struggles to read small text.... People who have trouble reading smaller text benefit from capitalized letters because it helps them identify when a sentence has ended and when a new one has started, something that young people can do with ease but older people start to struggle with. Capitalized letters help distinguish between sentences which helps with your efficiency claim you were talking about earlier. Without capital letters it would easily look like a sentence goes on and on and on and on.....

"the period or punctuation mark already tells you that the sentence is over"

Have you ever seen the size of a period? By god, it is literally smaller then an ant, its fairly easy to miss whereas capitalized letters are much easier to spot and let the reader know a new sentence has started.

"and since you capitalize every sentence, it's not as if it distinguishes certain sentences from each other."

Thats exactly what it does though! Capital letters are mostly used to distinguish between sentences.

"finally, and arguably most importantly, there's the new problem facing IMing and forums of noobs who talk in all caps. this is the event where some self important idiot talks with caps lock on because what they have to say is so important that it has to be in bigger letters then everyone else"

NO IT ISNT, SHUT UP, YOURE BEING STUPID.

"this is an irritating problem that would be solved if caps where removed from our language."

Using all caps isnt just used for noobs who are trolling. They are often used to express shouting over the internet or to make a point, which is something you could never do with all lowercase letters.

LETS FACE IT, WHEN YOU READ THIS YOU IMAGINE THAT IM SHOUTING IT, AM I RIGHT?

Point proven.

"simply because they forget to use capital letters, they are often shunned"

Well they should be, if youre too dumb or lazy to hold down the "shift" key when you hit one letter then its fair to call into question how idiotic you may be. In fact, a notorious number of noobs use terrible grammar when making arguments online when more seasoned and wiser members use correct grammar when they argue. This means that since bad grammar is associated with mindless idiots, then if all people were to talk like mindless idiots then everyone else would think they are talking to a bunch of mindless idiots..... And we would all be typing like we are mindless idiots as well.

==========================================================================

In summary:
1) Capital letters do clarify the meaning behind sentences
2) They greatly clarify comprehension of a text
3) They can give your sentence a different tone of voice (all caps = shouting) which is something you cant do with lowercase
4) Capital letters help old people, tired people, and others who struggle with reading to distinguish between sentences.
Debate Round No. 2
natoast

Con



'I helped my uncle jack off a horse.'


this seems like a very strange sentence to use out of context. perhaps someone asked you 'what did you just do.' you could say 'i helped my uncle off a horse.' but perhaps you want to tell the person your uncles name in a single sentence. Y\you could just write 'i helped my uncle, jack, off a horse.' this would not only signify that jack is the name of the uncle, but it would be a better parallel to how that sentence would be spoken aloud. and despite the fact that you provided many example names that are spelled the same as verbs, this type of phrase doesn't actually come up very often. consider 'my cousin chase has a dog.' obviously you wouldn't mistake chase for a verb, because then there would be no subject. the reason that the sentence above behaves as it does is because 'jack' could function as either a subject or as a verb. the only time this would ever occur is in a sentence that can use the name in both a two word subject phrase with the name as the second word and in a two word verb phrase where the first word is the name. just because there are names that are spelled like verbs doesn't mean that this is a problem that this is a common problem.


'peroids are small, while capital letters are big'


c'mon, you're saying we should continue to use two seperate sets of letters for the sake of the elderly? not only do half the capital letters look exactly the same as the regular ones, just slightly larger, (c-C, s-S, o-O, v-V, ect.), but all of the letters in these documents are literaly smaller then ants. if a person can't distinguish periods from commas, they will probably have other reading issues as well, hence large text books.
a note on distinguishing sentences: when i said this, i didn't mean distinguishing individual sentences from each other, but distinguishing different types of sentences, like perhaps only capitilizing quotes or some other sort of rule.


"getting rid of capital letters would make our language more efficient, something any language should strive for."

you said that i didn't provide sound logic for this argument. my reasoning for this statement was that becuase you where able to understand my round 1 statement perfectly without my use of capitals, then capitals don't, in many cases, serve any purpose in making a text more readable, therefore removing them would make writing out something quicker and more efficient. i can see how you might have missed this reasoning, becuase i had hidden it all the way IN THE SENTENCE RIGHT BEFORE THAT ONE.

and this brings me to the point of using capital letters to change your tone. i'll admit that capital letters can be useful when you want to express anger or iritation. but wouldn't the paragraph seem much more pleasant if i hadn't used caps? consider these two sentences:

"how could you have been so stupid!?"

"HOW COULD YOU HAVE BEEN SO STUPID?!"

in both sentences, a sense of yelling is demonstrated, but the second one seems unecessarily urgent. you can use standard punctuation to give the same message without seeming stupid. on your statements over how spelling and grammer can often be a good way to tell noobs from pro's, i disagree with you. in my experience, often the person who is best at math or sience is the worst at spelling and grammar. sometimes even the greatest genuises don't to use capital letters.



imabench

Pro

1) Helping your uncle Jack off a horse argument

In this argument pro uses semantics to try to downplay the clear and obvious usefulness of capital letters and how they clarify the meaning of a sentence. Pro then argues that this isnt a common enough problem to warrant keeping capital letters and again misses the point about the usefulness that capital letters carry with them.

2) Separating sentences with Capital letters

"c'mon, you're saying we should continue to use two seperate sets of letters for the sake of the elderly?"

The elderly arent the only people who struggle reading Pro..... People who are dyslexic, just learning a new language, or even just really really tired all use capital letters to distinguish between two different sentences and help them comprehend a text better.

"they will probably have other reading issues as well, hence large text books."

So your solution to small text would be to make the text bigger? Funny because larger text is just a lot like USING CAPITAL LETTERS.

^ See how that point sunk in, Ill get back to that later....

"when i said this, i didn't mean distinguishing individual sentences from each other, but distinguishing different types of sentences, like perhaps only capitilizing quotes or some other sort of rule."

So you mean youre lack of using capital letters in your sentence led to someone misreading what you meant to say? I introduce this as new evidence for why capital letters are useful.

Also, the argument still stands.

3) Why should we be trying to make English more efficient exactly?

"then capitals don't, in many cases, serve any purpose in making a text more readable, therefore removing them would make writing out something quicker and more efficient. i can see how you might have missed this reasoning, becuase i had hidden it all the way IN THE SENTENCE RIGHT BEFORE THAT ONE."

I have already shown that capital letters are effective and do serve a purpose (which the Pro danced around). The pro himself also has shown that failure to capitalize leads to people misinterpreting his own arguments, yet pro still somehow tries to argue that capitalizing letters somehow leads to more inefficiency.....

In other words:

Round 2) Pro argues that capital letters arent efficient
Round 3) Pro clarify's what he meant to say because his uncapitalized sentences caused confusion, and then goes on to say that capitalization still makes sentences inefficient.....

Hysterical I know.

4) Use of all capital letters to make a point

"and this brings me to the point of using capital letters to change your tone. i'll admit that capital letters can be useful when you want to express anger or iritation."

Point conceded

"but wouldn't the paragraph seem much more pleasant if i hadn't used caps?"

Have you seen the internet or literature lately??? The hottest thing on the internet right now is a video of a girl sucking on her own bloody tampon while the hottest book right now (50 shades of Grey) is a book about super erotic sex acts.... These days literature isnt meant to be pleasant, its meant to make a point and captivate you..... Language isnt geared to be pleasant, language was literally invented to help make a point to someone else, and in that definition, capital letters only increase how efficient a person gets the message across to somebody else. For example:

MANATEES CAN SUCK THEIR OWN D*CK WITHOUT BENDING OVER

See? You just learned something interesting, and the chances you would have remembered such a fact by reading it in all lowercase letters would be much smaller then reading it in all caps. This means that using caps makes a language more efficient because language is meant to get a point across to someone else the best way possible, not as pleasently as possible.

"in both sentences, a sense of yelling is demonstrated, but the second one seems unecessarily urgent."

But the second one also captures your attention better and engages you into whatever scenario is going on.

"on your statements over how spelling and grammer can often be a good way to tell noobs from pro's, i disagree with you. in my experience, often the person who is best at math or sience is the worst at spelling and grammar"

Well science disagrees with you. And yes, science has a 'c' in it....
http://brooklynbased.net...
Debate Round No. 3
natoast

Con

1) nouns and verbs; uncle jack


I don't see how i used semantics. i first demonstrated how you could solve this problem using only standard punctuation, and potentially improve the sentence. then i showed why it would actually be quite rare for a sentence to occur where you could confuse names and verbs, witch i assume was the point of this sentence. was there some other point?




2) separating sentences


yes, there are other minorities who could hypothetically benefit from capital letters because of difficulty reading. but you seemed to have dropped my point when i said that if a person has difficulty distinguishing sentences they will probably have other reading problems. that's why i suggested large print books. and writing in all caps would not be an effective alternative to large print. capital letters are not generally that much larger or different from minuscule letters anyways.

and as to your point about lack of capitals caused a misunderstanding: the misunderstanding had nothing to do with my failure to use capitals, it was simply do to poor word choice on my part. i said "since you capitalize every sentence, it's not as if it distinguishes certain sentences from each other." while i should have said "since you capitalize every sentence, it's not as if it distinguishes different types of sentences from each other." and i apologize for that, but capitalizing it would not have changed anything.





3) the efficiency of english


again, the misunderstanding here had nothing to do with my lack of capitals, it was just because of the way i wrote it and you read it. i said "(1) if i can convey the same idea with less effort, why shouldn't i? (2) getting rid of capital letters would make our language more efficient, something any language should strive for." i felt that i explained my reasoning by saying that by making writing easier without changing the meaning that it would make the language more efficient. so i made a joke about how obvious it seemed to me.


4) making a point


i don't think that fifty shades of grey is written in all caps, but i might be wrong. just because we want to be intense doesn't mean we need all caps to express it. generally, the person who writes in all caps is not all that smart because if what they had to say was relevant they wouldn't need all caps to get peoples attention. in this way, information doesn't need to be in all caps to be memorable, it just has to be memorable.



so to conclude:

caps are very rarely used at all to distinguish proper nouns from other words, and when they are there are simple ways around it using punctuation. there is no compelling reason to capitalize the first letter of every sentence, and capitals are often abused by the internet public. and in general, capital letters serve as an unnecessary burden to an already confusing language. finally, as a bonus example, my entire argument went unchanged without me using any capitals.


also: can manatees really do that?
imabench

Pro

1) Uncle Jack off a horse

"I don't see how i used semantics. i first demonstrated how you could solve this problem using only standard punctuation, and potentially improve the sentence....was there some other point?"

The point was that Capital letters can drastically change the meaning of a sentence, instead of acknowledging this you attacked the example instead by arguing that "oh this never happens" or "I would have wrote it differently". The point still stands that the capitalization of simply one letter can completely change the meaning of a sentence and therefore makes capitalization very useful, effective, and necessary.

2) Separating sentences

"if a person has difficulty distinguishing sentences they will probably have other reading problems. that's why i suggested large print books."

Thats 1) Yet ANOTHER semantical argument where you dance around the point that capital letters help people distinguish between 2 sentences and avoid the main argument, and 2) Your own opinion about how you would do something differently (use larger text) rather then use capital letters just because it suits you.

All the pro has done is substitute his own opinions into his arguments and use them to somehow underscore the clear usefullness that capital letters have.

"capital letters are not generally that much larger or different from minuscule letters anyways."

^ EXACTLY what im talking about. Whenever I make a solid point in support of the use of capital letters, all the pro does is give his own opinion on how he would have fixed the problem differently and then leaves it at that.

3) Efficiency of English

"getting rid of capital letters would make our language more efficient, something any language should strive for. i felt that i explained my reasoning by saying that by making writing easier without changing the meaning that it would make the language more efficient."

But making something simpler doesnt make it more efficient, because again that is merely your own opinion. My example with the Uncle Jack off a horse is more then enough evidence to show that removing complexity from language can easily alter the comprehension of a sentence, which indicates that the more complex a language may be, the better you can understand it. Removing capital letters makes English simpler, but it doesnt make it more efficient (as ive shown) which means that capital letters make English (and all languages for that matter) more efficient at the expense of being simple.

4) Using all caps to make a point

" just because we want to be intense doesn't mean we need all caps to express it. generally, the person who writes in all caps is not all that smart because if what they had to say was relevant they wouldn't need all caps to get peoples attention."

Im not aruing that a point NEEDS to be in all caps to make an impact, im arguing that the use of all caps when used correctly can greatly increase how much attention it receives from readers. Anyone who still recalls my comments about what Manatees can do knows this to be true.

"in this way, information doesn't need to be in all caps to be memorable, it just has to be memorable."

The argument here isnt that relevant arguments NEED to be in all caps to get across to someone, its that all caps are very useful when you want to get the readers attention or create a certain tone to the sentence.

"caps are very rarely used at all to distinguish proper nouns from other words,"

They are used that way all the time....

"and when they are there are simple ways around it using punctuation."

Which does absolutely nothing to counter the fact that capital letters are very useful to comprehension and meaning of a sentence.

"there is no compelling reason to capitalize the first letter of every sentence"

Because you blatantly ignored all the valid points I gave and danced around them. Capital letters help people distinguish between two sentences and in response to this point you only recommended that all text should have larger proint to counter this problem.

"and capitals are often abused by the internet public"

Big frickin deal. The internet public also abuses words like troll, noob, and curse words as well, but that doesnt mean we should ban those too.

"in general, capital letters serve as an unnecessary burden to an already confusing language"

MASSIVE opinion that is also blatantly false

"finally, as a bonus example, my entire argument went unchanged without me using any capitals."

Tell that to the guy who is reading this late at night who is struggling like hell to figure out where your sentences start and end....

==========================================================================

Conclusion

1) I have shown that capital letters are immensely important in the message they convey in a sentence which the Pro has failed to address properly.

2) Capital letters are used to separate sentences and make comprehension easier for those whose reading abilities arent 100% sharp, the pro simply danced around this argument by saying "Then use larger text"

3) Capital letters make English more efficient even if at the same time makes it more complex, and the pro claims that making things simpler = making them more efficient, even though he provides no evidence to reinforce such a claim (just his opinion) and when evidence suggests otherwise.

4) Capital letters are very effective in getting a point across to readers, the pro argued that you dont need capital letters to get a point across which wasnt even the argument. (argument was that all caps can be effective, not necessary to make a point)

5) Capital letters greatly provide the tone of a sentence by expressing emotions associated with the use of all capital letters at certain points (Pro actually conceded this point)

6) Yes Manatees can really do that.

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
LatentDebater: "Has to be said, the horse line sealed the deal."

Indeed.
Posted by LatentDebater 4 years ago
LatentDebater
Has to be said, the horse line sealed the deal.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Well, let's see, in Hebrew there are no capital letters (of course there are sofit letters, a different form for certain letters when they occur at the end of a word), and I don't find that this makes reading extra difficult, so I suppose that this goes to support the view that a written language can do just fine without capital letters. That being said, I however see no compelling or sufficient reason to abolish capital letters from our Latin alphabet.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by LatentDebater 4 years ago
LatentDebater
natoastimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - No one did a misconduct. S&G is unfair because this would not respect what con was debating for. Convincing debates are as follows... "Now in sentence one, Jack is capitalized, meaning it is a person. The capital letter shows that you were helping you uncle whose name is jack, get off of a horse. In sentence two however jack is not capitalized, and you end up saying that you helped you uncle give sexual favors to a horse and continued to do so until the horse ejaculated sperm out of his horse penis..." "capital letters help people distinguish between 2 sentences and avoid the main argument, and 2) Your own opinion about how you would do something differently (use larger text) rather then use capital letters just because it suits you. " Both went completely unrefuted. Sources is an obvious tie.
Vote Placed by youmils03 4 years ago
youmils03
natoastimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I vote Pro. Dumb debate.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 4 years ago
Deadlykris
natoastimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con loses the spelling and grammar point for atrocious grammar; and he failed to make his case without resorting to opinion, so he loses the arguments vote.