So I seem to be getting increasing editing ability on this site and I want to be helpful which got me wondering about this.

Is there a site policy concerning the use of CAPITALS? To me they always look a bit out of place when not required grammatically. However, I do understand the need for emphasis on occasion. Thoughts?

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  • PERSONALLY, I'd think that it's ALRIGHT to convert CAPITALS to lowercase if the emphasis IS NOT REALLY NEEDED. That is to say, don't go editing all instances of all caps into lowercase, but I would think that there would be plenty of instances where the appearance of a post (and how it reads) would be improved by such editing. I'd even bet that many times, the emphasis from all caps would be better served if the words were bolded instead. – El'endia Starman Oct 25 '14 at 4:50
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    (Aside: if Billy Mays makes a post from beyond the grave, leave the all caps.) – El'endia Starman Oct 25 '14 at 4:52
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    USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT. – Jim G. Oct 25 '14 at 7:48
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    Be careful what you ask for @JimG. If I were to use my "best" judgment I would summarily delete that comment ^^^ and tell you off for yelling. I don't even know what to do with El'endia. – Caleb Oct 26 '14 at 8:08
  • @Caleb: #sarcasm – Jim G. Oct 26 '14 at 14:13

No, use of CAPS LOCK in an semi-academic setting such as this site is not appropriate. Besides being hard to read, the most commonly understood intonation is that of shouting. I can think of very few contexts on this site where shouting is appropriate, usually either bold or italic text would give the desired emphasis. Most of the time people that use all-caps in writing prose do so either out of laziness or ignorance (either of how to format their text using markup of any kind or of what the standard intonations are for various markups). A comment letting them know they are, wittingly or unwittingly, in breach of Internet etiquette is usually all it takes to clear things up.

Feel free to edit out any instances of all-caps where shouting is not the obvious intended intonation provided there are either sufficient other changes that need to be made anyway or the usage is particularly egregious (e.g. whole sentences or paragraphs rather than just single words). There is rarely a post that can't use some other touch-up work anyway, but editing and bumping posts only to change a stray word or two is probably not such a good idea.

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    I would make one exception: lesser headings. We have been given two headings with the markdown on this site. If you personally do not like those, you can optionally use bold caps and unbold caps for two distinct headings. – fгedsbend Oct 26 '14 at 16:58

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