ONLY MARGINALLY LITERATE PEOPLE READ LETTER-BY-LETTER. MOST OF US READ ENTIRE WORDS AND PHRASES AT A GLANCE. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT WE READ THE SHAPES OF WORDS. THE APPROPRIATE USE OF UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS FACILITATE SHAPE RECOGNITION. FOR EXAMPLE, COMPARE THE SHAPES OF UPPER CASE “E” AND “F.” THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM IS A SINGLE STROKE AT THE BOTTOM AND THEY EASILY MAY BE CONFUSED FOR EACH OTHER AT A GLANCE. NOW COMPARE THEM IN THEIR LOWER CASE FORMS. THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR CONFUSION. THE PROBLEM WITH USING ONLY UPPER CASE LETTERS IS THAT ALL WORDS APPEAR WITH THE SAME SHAPE, AS BOXES, AND EVEN THE MOST LITERATE PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO READ THEM LETER-BY-LETTER AS DO ILLITERATE PEOPLE. IS IS EARY TO SEE WHY ILLITERATE PEOPLE READ SO SLOWLY WHEN YOU ATTEMPT THIS. READING TEXT SET IN ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS THUS MAKES READING HARDER. I CAN SAFELY GUESS THAT YOU ARE NOT ONLY READING THIS POSTING MUCH SLOWER THAN YOU MIGHT IF IT HAD BEEN SET USING UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS APPROPRIATELY, BUT ALSO GETTING TIRED OF READING IT. INDEED, MANY OF YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY ABANDONED IT AND JUMPED TO THE SECTION BELOW THAT HAS BEEN SET USING UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS APPROPRIATELY. INTERESTINGLY, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AMUSED THAT LAWYERS HAVE USED ALL UPPER CASE TEXT IN LEGAL DOCUMENTS SUPPOSEDLY AS A FORM OF EMPHASIS. I KNOW THAT LAY PEOPLE WRITING ON SUBJECTS THAT THEY ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT, OFTEN USE ALL UPPER CASE TEXT TO EMPHASIZE POINTS. INDEED, IT IS TO ME A FORM OF SHOUTING IN PRINT. HOWEVER, INSTEAD OF COMMUNICATING THAT WHICH THE AUTHOR BELIEVES IS MOST IMPORTANT, IT OFTEN DISCOURAGES PEOPLE FROM EVEN READING IT. THEN, WHEN LAWYERS WISH TO BEFUDDLE YOU AND MAYBE EVEN DISCOURAGE CLOSE READING, THEY USE EXTREMELY SMALL TEXT – THAT WHICH IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE FINE PRINT – AND READERS BECOME SUSPICIOUS AND READ IT EVEN MORE CLOSELY. NOW, PLEASE DON'T BECOME ANNOYED WITH ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT THE TEXT BELOW REPEATS EXACTLY THE SAME TEXT AS YOU HAVE BEEN READING TO THIS POINT.
Only marginally literate people read letter-by-letter. Most of us read entire words and phrases at a glance. It is well established that we read the shapes of words. The appropriate use of upper and lower case letters facilitate shape recognition. For example, compare the shapes of upper case “E” and “F.” The only difference between them is a single stroke at the bottom and they easily may be confused for each other at a glance. Now compare them in their lower case forms. There is little room for confusion. The appropriate use of upper and lower case letters facilitate shape recognition. The problem with using only upper case letters is that all words appear with the same shape, as boxes, and even the most literate people are forced to read them letter-by-letter as do illiterate people. It's easy to see why illiterate people read so slowly when you attempt this. The appropriate use of upper and lower case letters facilitate shape recognition. The problem with using only upper case letters is that all words appear with the same shape, as boxes, and even the most literate people are forced to read them letter-by-letter as do illiterate people. Reading text set in all upper case letters thus makes reading harder. I can safely guess that you are not only reading this posting much slower than you might if it had been set using upper and lower case letters appropriately, but also getting tired of reading it. Indeed, many of you may have already abandoned it and jumped to the section below that has been set using upper and lower case letters appropriately. Interestingly, I have always been amused that lawyers have used all upper case text in legal documents supposedly as a form of emphasis. I know that lay people writing on subjects that they are passionate about, often use all upper case text to emphasize points. Indeed, it is to me a form of shouting in print. However, instead of communicating that which the author believes is most important, it often discourages people from even reading it at all. Then, when lawyers wish to befuddle you and maybe even discourage close reading, they using extremely small text – that which is commonly referred to as the fine print – and readers become suspicious and read it even more closely. Now, please don't become annoyed with me when I tell you that the text above repeats exactly the same text you have been reading to this point.
Do you get the point?