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Google's Crusade Against Caps Lock

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Unless there's an attached audio dictation, precise tone and inflection tend to get lost in the textual translation. A YouTube comment remarking how a viewer doubted the veracity of a particular stunt doesn't carry much weight in print.

That is unless, of course, the user writes it as, "OMG!!!!!, THIS VDIEO IS TEH FAKERS!!!!!@##!@!!~"

There. That's much better.

But the killjoy grammar police over at Google somehow finds that type of online interaction offensive. The company has taken it upon itself to curb the incessant "yelling" that takes place in comments sections across the web. How? By limiting the use of Caps Lock.

Attempting to make more waves with Microsoft, Apple, Dell, and HP, Google unveiled its upcoming Chrome OS notebook, the Cr-48, this week. Upon showing off the unit, however, the crowd noticed an absence of the Caps Lock key. In its place was a Search key that evokes a Google search bar onscreen -- a logical addition for a device that hinges on cloud computing.

But is there an underlying reason for the switch? Business Insider quoted a Google employee as saying, "We expect this will improve the quality of comments across the web."

Well, that's all well and good for online etiquette, Google. But what about members of the NAACP, AAMCO employees, or the many, many women who make frequent visits to their OB-GYN? Do you honestly expect them to hold a pinkie on the Shift key and type five, six, maybe eight letters? WHAT KIND OF CRUEL JOKE IS THIS?!??!

Google is compassionate enough to take those folks under consideration.

According to Slashgear, the "getting started guide" for the Chrome OS notebook includes a tip on switching the functionality of the Search key back to Caps Lock. The guide reads:

"If you really need Caps Lock so you can post an INSIGHTFUL COMMENT ON YOUTUBE, click the wrench, click Settings, and then go to the System section to change the Modifier Key from a Search key to a Caps Lock key."

As you can see, it's just hard enough that those prone to SHOUTING in comment sections don't have the patience or mental capacity to go through all those steps. A bit of a win-win for online harmony.

Now, if there's only a way to knock those obnoxious Scroll Lock jerks down a peg.
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