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Founder Derek Arnold discusses the "real engineering implications" behind the aggressive Internet holiday. 


Lauren Rae Orsini

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 22, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 9:03 am CDT

If your Twitter feed and emails look a little aggressive today, don’t worry about it. Your online connections are probably just getting into the spirit of INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!

How does one celebrate the occasion? Look no further than the official website or follow the holiday’s Twitter. You can admire Billy Mays, because the late star “talks like he’s got his cap locks key on.” And of course, write in ALL CAPS TO EVERYBODY.

Caps Lock Day may be the world’s most obnoxious holiday. The celebration of angry typing was born Oct. 22, 2003 on Metafilter. Founder Derek Arnold told the Daily Dot that he coined the holiday to raise awareness of all-caps typing.

“The era of smartphones and new keyboard layouts (see the Google Chromebooks as an example) is troubling. There could be a generation of sub-millennials who don’t even know they can type using only capital letters without holding down a shift key. The file compression benefits of all-caps vs. mixed case alone is something like 212 percent.

“This isn’t a joke, it has real engineering implications, and in the face of growing industry overseas I think we need to reexamine our keyboard layouts to see if this is really a good idea to be shaking up such a fundamental aspect of our online existence.”

Arnold, a computer programmer in Iowa, never expected the holiday to persist so strongly nine years after he invented it. This year, he hopes to modernize the Caps Lock Day website into the current decade for the festivities. (It’s been largely unchanged since 2004.)

“I am happy that despite everything changing in the world’s political landscape, we can all sit down and yell at each other online for a whole day once or more a year,” he said.

Photo by Al R/Flickr

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*First Published: Oct 22, 2012, 10:00 am CDT