Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Silly Capitalization

My usual disclaimer: to each his or her own. I am not in judgment, just venting my frustration.

I was borne and raised in a non-English speaking country. After I realized that I could speak, think, and write in English without translation, I was joyous. I had dabbled in other languages, but never got to the point where I no longer needed translation. Those of you who do not speak another language may not appreciate this epiphany. It happens when one begins to think in the other language.

That is just a bit of background to justify my position. We have heard of religious converts who are more zealous than the ordinary religious nuts. I am kind of that way about the English language. I admit that the language is a horrendous mass of words, customs, grammar, and mystique from many other languages. Still, it has its formality that I learned and came to truly appreciate. It is not as gently flowing as some other languages, but a person with the skill can make it as beautiful in writing as in any other language.

Although I like some poetry, I am not a poet. Prose is my means of communication. There I can excel, challenge, and irritate as I please. I can say things that some readers would not truly understand until some subtle hint in my prose hits a key synapse. Then it becomes hilarious, devastating, or just appropriately beautiful.

With all this appreciation of the English language, I am less than amused by the liberties that some people take using it. Profanity, slang, direct and terse statements don’t bother me much. Contractions are acceptable to a certain extent. I use them only to be colloquial and not to appear tight assed. But I draw the line at some usage. For example, the backwoods American sentence, “It don’t matter none anyhow” is colorful, but is also full of errors that, if used often, will insinuate themselves into the language. Just like the nonsensical phrase, “it’s got”. The use of this phrase amazes me. One has to go out of one’s way to be incorrect in grammar to use it. It is an ultimate corruption of “It has gotten” only even that is being used incorrectly. Why go to the trouble of saying all that when one means, “it has”?

But I digress. My point this time is the gauche usage of capitalization with respect to the assumed female superiority. Some misguided male who had no self-respect came up with this silliness, and others of similar nature follow. I could quote from blogs that are inundated with this virus, but I don’t want to make anyone feel bad. I will, however, show exactly what I mean.

Reading the customary mis-capitalization such as “W/we She, i (as opposed to I), Her, O/our, T/they, T/their, etc.” I am irritated. I understand that some males want to be respectful and even worshipful in writing to and about a cherished woman. I approve, and encourage that. On the other hand, it is not necessary to massacre grammar to accomplish that. I can be very respectful using proper English, at least to the extent that I have the skill. I would not go out of my way to adulterate the language just to show my, ah … assumed relative position. My wife would chastise me if she ever caught me using this silly capitalization rule. Yet she knows that I am always respectful and proper with her and with any female.

Oh well, sometimes protocol is the essence. And protocols are arbitrary. However, politeness and conveyance of respect transcend protocol.

I compare this mis-capitalization to groveling. Some people have a need to grovel, and that is all right as far as fantasies go. I have never had any use for grovelers, be they animals or humans. I have groveled from time to time to accommodate a benign scenario, but not as a life style. Any being has a right to self-respect. When self-respect is given away, no amount of protocol will suffice to replace it. In D/S one person is always assumed to have the power, and may “force” the other to do demeaning things. That is the nature of the game. But when the game is over, we again become responsible and sensible humans with self-respect. Constant groveling is not an endearing feature even for a real slave.

I have two large dogs. One is a dear, sweet, loving animal who scares the pants off anyone outside the fence, but he would never hurt me. He is not a groveler. The other, well she is as big, gentle or fierce given the occasion, and would not hurt me either, but she is something else. I try to bolster her self-image, but I don’t speak dog, so it is difficult. It is kind of like people who have to demean themselves in order to feel whole. She is just not all there.


Ms. C said...

I always refer to my partner as m and not M in my blog. I enjoy using the diminutive to underline his position.

But I cannot take it any further. Like you, I just don't see the point of taking it such an extreme. It breaks up the prose and looks terrible.

Her knight said...

Hers4ev - As one who uses the convention you describe, i understand your irritation. It's harder to write, and (i guess) for some to read.

In my case, my P likes it. Since i offered to submit She has taken Her role as the alpha very seriously. She does not experience it as groveling, rather as submission. At work and outside the house, i am a leader and supervisor, and with others regarding our household needs i'm told i have quite a presence. With my P, though, i demonstrate my submission in every way She wishes. She enjoys the honorifics, and that i am an 'i'.

Just sayin', so you can appreciate my world. Flamewars not necessary.

Susan's Pet said...

As I said in my lead paragraph, "To each His/his or Her/her own." No flame was intended, and nobody is being told to do it my way.

Her knight said...

Hers4ev - Thanks. Given your passion about it, just wanted you to know the perspective of an 'offender'. BTW, do you prefer Hers4ev or Susan's Pet?

Susan's Pet said...

I used the name Susan's Pet even before creating this blog. So I prefer that.

little shaun said...

I've begun to go back the way of traditional English myself because of the complexities of using the capitalized terms. At first I was to believe that it was the language of D/s, but I realize that it isn't necessary. I will still address those who expect or like it that way, but not in everyday language.

doll said...

I have always been very impressed by your excellent use of English knowing that your originate from a different linguistic background.

For me it is text messages that sort the men from the boys. I get so irritated by obscure shorthand when it is so easy to use longhand and continue to enjoy the beauties of language.

I did try the diminutive i to distinguish myself as submissive but it looks so ugly and quite frankly I am something very special and much greater than i. The only way I diminish my status with M is signing my name but that is because I prefer the look of the small letter rather than the capital.

Susan's Pet said...

Sweet Doll,

I appreciate your comment with respect to my use of English.

Aside from what I said, my objection to the adultaration of the language, especially grammar, I am not really critical of folks who choose to express themselves in this manner. While I would prefer perfection in everything, from time to time a bit of imperfection can be endearing.

I still maintain that I/i, etc. is the wrong direction in order to express submission. The words and the way they are used can do justice without the use of gimmicks. One just needs to work a little harder. An example is the use of emoticons in normal correspondence. One can write a sentence that expresses the equivalent of a frown or a smile without resorting to these enhancements.

Now, signatures, those are uniqe to the individal, and everything goes.

Great Kate Webb said...

Too true. I received an email the other day from a fellow domme. She capitalized every pronoun that referred to her. (i.e. "Hello, My name is ____") I don't suppose there's anything wrong with that, but when I responded, I caught myself doing the same for some reason. lol

Her Majesty's Plaything said...

Hi Susan's Pet:

This post was a very amusing one to read. During my initial foray into professional domination I found a Mistress I was absolutely crazy about. I used to be meticulous about making sure all of the capitalization in my correspondence to her complied with strict D/s guidelines. It was a way of flirting with her and showing my devotion. It was also pretty darn silly! Now I look back at that correspondence and laugh at myself. What a neophyte I was back then! What a rube! LOL!

You write exceedingly well by the way, especially considering English is your second language!



Susan's Pet said...

Thank you for the comment, HMP!

We try and we learn.

I still have some of my earlier writings. I re-read them as a source of amusement.