Since the 1850s, every message and order from the U.S. Navy LOOKED LIKE THIS.
No more, according to The Wall Street Journal, which in its article about the Navy's change (from all-caps communications to mixed-case text) got cute and used all caps, a headache that Ragan.com will spare its readers. (The headline will suffice, thank you.)
Way back when, the Navy sent orders and other messages in all caps out of necessity; teletype machines simply didn't have lowercase letters. Tradition, a staple in the Navy, has kept them that way.
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So, why the change? Using nothing but capital letters in a message has taken on a whole new meaning. Young sailors who are texting and social-media savvy see all-caps messages as akin to shouting, and though they're undoubtedly accustomed to hearing raised voices daily, it's probably a good idea for them not to be reading orders as if they were being screamed at.
The Navy wants its messages to be "more readable and less rude," the Journal's Julian E. Barnes wrote, though officials also want to stress that this isn't a sign of the Navy's "going soft."
The branch hopes other branches of the military follow its lead. Lots of Army messages are still in all caps, the Journal reports.
The change also saves the Navy money. Its new messaging system, which goes online next month, will save the service $15 million a year, officials said. It won't filter through to all Navy messaging systems until 2015, however, so some text-based screaming will be necessary over the next few years.
What's next? Press release subject lines? Newspaper story slugs?