INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY IS CELEBRATED EVERY OCTOBER 22, but -and this is important-  that doesn't mean you have to use it. The caps lock button on your keyboard is there to, well, no one is really sure what it's supposed to be for, but some internet users keep it on all the time. The holiday was invented in 2000, when millions of people were starting to use the internet to communicate, even though they were not typists. Many of them decided it was easier to type everything in upper case than it was to switch back and forth between upper case and lower case to create sentences. In other words, it was a shortcut to reduce errors. However, the effect on the reader was that they were being shouted at.

Times have changed, and as a new generation has grown up with internet technology, you are more likely to encounter textspeak or a barrage of acronyms than uppercase messages. Some people still use all caps in order to emphasize how important their message is -which is akin to actual deliberate shouting. Others just cannot give up the habit because they don't want to deal with a shift key. But we still observe International Caps Lock Day for the fun of it. In fact, it comes around twice a year, the other holiday being on June 28. Metafilter, as always, is making a field day of it.

Read the history and significance of International Caps Lock Day at the Caps Lock Day website. Be assured that the website is not in all caps.

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