The U.S. Navy has updated its text messaging etiquette to use mixed-case rather than all capital letters.
Officially, the move is to make the messages easier to read and save money. Communications within the Navy have been all caps since the 19th century.
"If an ancillary benefit is that sailors reading message traffic no longer feel they're being screamed at, that's a good thing too," a Navy official said.
"YOUNG SAILORS ACCUSTOMED TO TEXTING SEE ALL-CAPS ORERS AS A FORM OF SHOUTING!" joked Wall Street Journal blogger Julian Barnes. "NAVY WANTS ITS ORDERS AND OFFICIAL MESSAGES TO BE MORE READABLE AND LESS RUDE."
The tradition comes from the former use of teletype machines, which had three rows of keys and did not feature lowercase letters.
In a touch of irony, the Navy's announcement was written in all caps, but perhaps the memo meant EFFECTIVE NOW. Not all Navy systems can process mixed cases, but will be updated with the feature by 2015.
"Lowercase messages are here to stay," said James McCarty, Naval messaging program manager at Fleet Cyber Command, said.
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