Why legal documents contain ALL CAPS TEXT

9 thoughts on “Why legal documents contain ALL CAPS TEXT”

  1. Hi PT– Never thought to research this one. Isn’t the history a hoot! Roots in a caps lock key… should be a question on Jeopardy at the very least. Thanks for a hmmmmm post 🙂

    1. I thought it was interesting and amusing … in a sad sort of way. I can’t believe we’re stuck with all those awful caps just because once upon a time it was the easiest thing to do on a typewriter. Now if only all the lawyers in the world would READ THIS POST!

  2. All-caps text is not only harder to read, it always gives me the impression of SHOUTING. There is a certain blogger haunting several of the blogs I read who does this routinely and without discernible consistency. I do wish he would stop SHOUTING at us.

    The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.
    ― Will Rogers

    1. Online, all caps is considered shouting. Has been for many years. And yet there still seem to be people who don’t know that. Sure, you can tell when some idiot is just trying to get attention. But I’ve also seen some very thoughtful, intelligent comments typed in all caps. How anyone could be that educated and still that ignorant (or rude) is beyond me. (And nobody learns in typing class to use all caps.)

  3. Nearly 60 years ago, my adviser at the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism taught several classes in which he preached that “all caps” is extremely difficult to read. He backed up his opinion with lots of study results. Nothing has changed. If the lawyers want to emphasize something, they would do well to use bold face.

    1. It’s unfortunate that lawyers don’t study journalism or typography or otherwise learn anything about readability. The studies have been out there for decades. Of course, there are undoubtedly times when it’s to their advantage to obfuscate in every way possible …

  4. Love this. If I see all caps my mind just shuts down in pure agony. My deqr colleague writes to me always in CAPS and I instantly go to my happy place in my head, usually involves a lot of boobs with small caps on 😉

... and that's my two cents