Why Do We Capitalize I?


Why do we capitalize the first-person pronoun, I? The short answer is because we do. But that’s not a very satisfactory answer. Even though it feels natural to English speakers, capitalizing I is unusual. In fact, English is the only language that does. Germanic and Romantic languages typically have some conventions for capitalizing proper nouns, like Deutschland (in German) or Place de la Concorde (in French), but English is the only one that selfishly insists on capitalizing the personal pronoun. We do not, you will recall, even capitalize we.

(Wondering why we capitalize letters at all? Learn the full story here.)

It turns out that this unusual convention was a bit of an accident. In Old and Middle English, the word for “I” was closer to its German cousin, “ich,” and it was often spelled “ic.” At this point, the word was not capitalized. However, the pronunciation changed over time and so did the spelling, losing the consonant c.

At first, the new word, i, was left lowercase. However, it began to grow taller than other words. It grew for a silly reason: a single letter looks bad. Look at it: i. How sad. By the time Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late 1300s, I, the personal pronoun, was slightly taller than its lowercase equivalent. From that point on, it was typically capitalized.

The only other accepted single-letter word in English, a, is a larger presence on the page. Its appearance isn’t as offensive as the thin i.

Today, though, some of us are regressing. In e-mails and instant message conversations, capitalization conventions are backsliding.

Do you think the capitalized I will go extinct?


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Pizza Hut delivery man Roy Hodge, left, gives Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams his formal instructions for being a Pizza Hut delivery person in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday, October 16, 2007. Williams decided to be a delivery person after he admitted in an interview he doesn’t typically tip pizza delivery people.

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  1. SamC -  October 11, 2015 - 1:36 pm

    I heard it was a legal term to distinguish between you – the flesh and blood soul; and you – the corporation (person).

    The same reason why bills of order are addressed to you in uppercase letters. Have a look at one of your utility bills and compare it with a letter that isn’t a bill.

    When you capatilise the letter i you are removing the title – your title, your right.

  2. John -  October 1, 2015 - 11:53 am

    I heard it was originally to do with middle English and the Introduction of the printing press, apparently it was sometimes possible in older grammar to write something that could have two meanings.
    “i temi am very upset” .
    Where temi is a persons name and the writer forgot to capitalize the T, to avoid confusion with “item am very upset”
    where the reader may think you need to put the i right up next to temi to make the word item and the rest becomes unclear. In olden times they came up with Capitlalisng all i’s where that particular i was referring to ones self.

    It is difficult to come up with a sentence where this might happen in modern grammar, but the rule is now expected and stuck fast.

    • Carolyn Wilson -  October 26, 2015 - 2:01 pm

      There are three one-letter words in the English language. They are I, O, and a. I and O are capitalized. Clearly the rule is that one-letter words are capitalized unless they belong to a part of speech that is never capitalized unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence, quotation, or title, which a does.

  3. Michelle -  September 28, 2015 - 2:47 am

    I find it far more likely that the upper case I was a case of running ink and/or lazy writing technique.

    I doubt people have changed all that much over time, much as my years would have be perceive otherwise, so I suspect it was a simple matter of mechanics. A single stroke is easier to produce than short stroke and a dot, especially with quill and ink. Just so with current media. It’s easier to do this: i, than this: I, especially on a phone.

    • Michelle -  September 28, 2015 - 2:50 am

      correction: that would be “have me perceive,” not “have be perceive.”

  4. jimmy -  September 14, 2015 - 10:06 am

    I’ve been and got a fly in my eye! Oh aye, I have. Said she.

  5. zloidooraque -  September 11, 2015 - 5:08 am

    doesn’t sound like satisfactory explanation to me.

  6. Kazuya234 -  May 28, 2015 - 10:21 pm

    Long live the “I” !

    • Eragonbrust66 -  July 24, 2015 - 8:40 pm

      I was just about to type that. Two great minds think alike.

      • Enrique SLP MX -  September 12, 2015 - 7:03 pm

        2 great minds: I agree, one more time.

    • Enrique SLP MX -  September 12, 2015 - 7:02 pm

      I agree!!! I know languages are alive and they necessarily change their form and substance. but the classic grammar, the esssence must stay unchangeable, mustn’t it? GOD save the “I”.

      • Jimmy -  November 14, 2015 - 9:11 pm

        I thought that God only save(s) the queen (of England). Apparently Christians have the right to say: ‘God saves I’ (grammatically wrong, it should be .’God saved me’! Because it is done. You only can confess that individual truth if you’re REBORN and SAVED by Jesus Christ, our Saviour.)
        Anyhow it’s always Past Tense or Present Perfect Tense.
        To me God has the only privilege to be capitalized all His pronouns. It also could be that when the king of England became the head of the Anglican Church, he also privileged himself to capitalize ‘I’.
        According to my wife, who ever posed this trivial problem to her (Indonesian) teacher (English), she had been told, that it’s just a cultural anomaly which has to do with the fact that (in her (teacher’s) perception), the British are “sombong” (arrogant) because they ever possessed the most colonies of all nations in the past. Well to me that’s very short through the bend.

  7. John -  May 28, 2015 - 10:23 am

    Who cares? What does it matter? English is a complete mess of a language anyway.

    • ___ -  July 5, 2015 - 3:49 pm


      • sunshine -  November 28, 2015 - 9:22 am

        Yep … (Just look at my reply) ha

  8. Anrael -  May 16, 2015 - 9:20 am

    Perhaps we should reconsider our usage. Let the capitalized I be used to denote the One & Only Great I Am-ness, i to refer to the microcosmic me embodied here & now. No wait, that’s the I Am, the Great My Self I Am! So perhaps it should remain capitalized but We don’t use it unless the I Am that I Am is Self referencing! No ego usage ever, no saying/writing what i think! Then there’d be a heck of a lot less writing! Capitalize That!

    • I'm the Great! -  May 21, 2015 - 5:23 am

      Why bother to argue the I or i. Today, with instant message and texting, I wouldn’t be surprised that there will be no English grammar or proper writing in the next generation; just plain alphabets. It is sad.

      • jbm345 -  July 5, 2015 - 10:37 am

        Yes, I think the capitalized “I” will go extinct, but it would be a mistake for us to stop capitalizing other words.

        I also agree with another responder that grammar in total is disappearing. We will have chaos, and if we think we have confused communication now, just wait.

        In one of my undergraduate Spanish courses I was required to read a couple of Spanish novels in which this had occurred. No punctuation, no capitalization, just words. It was horrible! absolutely horrible! It was also very time-consuming, labor intensive, and frustrating to read. Every section was open to reader interpretation. There was no writer-conveyed meaning. (Talk about selfish! A capitalized “I” cannot even touch this kind of self-centeredness and resistance to learning from others.) I hope I never have to read such a book again.

      • drew -  September 10, 2015 - 5:23 pm

        Are you leading by example?

    • Ken -  May 30, 2015 - 7:07 am

      Actually I in early Greek form was “ago” or ego in pronunciation, referring to the conceptual “i” and not the real self “I” so it actually is correct to use the lower case because most of us are not referring to our essence but the little self, separate and apart from each other when we use this in writing or speaking.

    • Dan -  June 9, 2015 - 6:07 am

      Very witty and funny

  9. Lindsey -  May 6, 2015 - 9:01 pm

    Lose your I-ego everyone, become an i-level human being

    • N -  May 10, 2015 - 6:04 am

      For all of you that keep saying that “I” is a proper noun, well it is not. I is a singular personal pronoun just like you, he and she. We do not capitalise pronouns unless at the beginning of a sentence. The only reason why I is capitalised is either because the lowercase i looks weird and lonely or because we think too much of ourselves. Either case, I always capitalise it because it is the rule of the English language.

      • Phuongsynd -  May 18, 2015 - 1:00 pm

        I totally agree with you ^^! Its the rule of the english language. Haha

        • Gary -  July 29, 2015 - 8:25 am

          I say, leave the capital “I” alone. It feels and sounds right. It bothers no one. I have no quam’s about using it. We should all be used to it by now. I love the capital “I”. What does it matter? Small ( i ) or capital ( I ), who cares.

          • Bryan -  August 29, 2015 - 8:08 am

            Sorry Gary, but
            1) qualms, with no apostrophe
            2) you realize of course there’s a disctinct conflict between “I love it” and “who cares” …right?

            I agree with you and prefer the capitalized ‘I’ as a pronoun–likely because I’m also used to it–but please don’t trivialize everyone else’s view as you assert your own, implying that dissenting opinions are wasting their collective breath on something unimportant when you just took time to vote to the contrary.

      • Eshwar -  June 30, 2015 - 6:39 pm

        I is capitalized to remind one to explore the I in you, as to what are you? Body, mind, intellect or soul? Of the 8,400,000 know species of life man is the only species better equipped to explore the self – bestowed with speech to articulate his thoughts and intellect at substantial levels unparalleled with any other known species. On the physical plane too, human body is undoubtedly well formed than any other known species and the progress man has achieved thus far than any species is proof of that. Having said that who else can find the answer to who you are than you! Hence I is capitalized to remind one to explore self leading to self realization!

        • Bryan -  August 29, 2015 - 8:20 am

          Interesting points, Eshwar. However many brilliant minds have never spoken English, the only language to do this.

          I’m too lazy to research whether guys like Da Vinci, Galilei, and Newton knew English, but I’ll wager Plato, Archimedes, Pythagoras, Socrates, and Aristotle didn’t.

          How can we be certain they ever arrived at these same realizations? I’ve never heard of them endorsing capitalizing the first-person pronoun.

          • Katri -  November 19, 2015 - 11:05 am

            Exactly Bryan, much agreed. Eshwar, you really put humans on a altar, may we worship ourselves upon self realization :) Nonetheless….whether we are the only species better equipped to explore the self, is debateble …. seeing as i have no idea what the other species think of themselves. But one thing is for certain, we do not have the most well formed bodies, we are not best equipped to even explore the world around us. The humble pigeon can “hear sounds at much lower frequencies than humans can, such as wind blowing across buildings and mountains, distant thunderstorms and even far-away volcanoes.” Not to mention, excellent eyesight, and are able to see various frequencies of ultraviolet light. The Mantis Shrimp’s vision is spectacular, they have 16 photoreceptors and can see UV, visible and polarised light. Humans in the mean while only have 3 photoreceptors and that’s it. What other creatures feel and experience, is often times so wildly amazing, its almost beyond imagining. I think i’ll stick to i; all rules are in a state of constant flux. Constant re-alignment, honing, and in a sense…in a state of chaos. Change and permutation are the hallmarks of cultural expression and understanding, as much as stability and our ever varied belief in eternity.

    • Taf Kadd -  May 12, 2015 - 11:04 am

      Eye think the solution to your problem would be to use eye instead of eye, if u no wot eye mean… ;-)

      • Natashia -  June 12, 2015 - 6:56 am


      • iGehab -  September 14, 2015 - 3:41 am

        Puns….puns everywhere!

  10. Nickit -  May 4, 2015 - 9:57 pm

    I think ya’ll are nuts. My friends and family think I’m the word nazi around here; I’m always correcting spelling and pronunciations or looking up definitions to be sure we’re using the proper word. And I can get pretty anal about stuff but you guys are insane.

    • AbbyAllen -  May 5, 2015 - 8:47 pm

      How about this for an argument in favor of keeping the capital “I”.? Yes, there are only 2 English words with a single letter (“a” and “I”). They have very different functions–”a” is an article–required gramatically, but it adds little meaning except to denote singular or plural before a noun beginnng with a consonant. But “I” serves as a subject and gets lost with the small letter. Instead, I think we should alter the word itself to include 2 letters as in “iy”. iy really think this could clear up this issue that iy think is pretty silly, but kind of fun.

      • Richard -  May 9, 2015 - 12:47 am

        iy would be great if we all started wearing pantaloons and eye patches…..sounds like what a Pirate would say.

      • Yongwei Wu -  June 13, 2015 - 9:04 pm

        You are wrong. There is also the word “O” (mostly found in poetry), which is also always capitalized. So only the unaccented “a” is in lower case.

        • AbbyAllen -  October 13, 2015 - 2:40 pm

          Thanks, Yongwei Wu. You are of couse correct. O me O my, such silly ways to our minds!

          • AbbyAllen -  October 13, 2015 - 2:42 pm


    • Hanib -  May 10, 2015 - 10:21 am

      Good I like annoyed people

    • mark -  August 5, 2015 - 7:48 pm

      Rather ironic you’re called a Word Nazi considering you can’t even spell y’all correctly. The apostrophe goes after the Y.

  11. K -  May 3, 2015 - 8:09 am

    Why do we not capitalise “me”?

  12. Chris McKim -  April 30, 2015 - 10:46 am

    In critical writing the ‘i’, at times, is left uncapitalised to denote the removal of the possessive or perhaps more simply put to place less importance on ownership.

  13. Lucy Dragneel ~ -  April 25, 2015 - 12:07 pm

    Well, I suppose some people might just stop using capitol i, but they might get bad grades and stop, or be lazy and continue. XD I personally think undercase i is just fine, but not in formal writing of a sort. I use it with my friends because– I’m one of those Lazy people lol.
    “Lazy people

    I always believed that “I” was capitolized because it was referring to one certain person, yourself, and thats like saying “Lucy” and Lucy is referring to hersel and capitalizeing I , becase thats her xD

    • Lilian R. -  April 29, 2015 - 8:46 am

      Capital, not capitol, Capitol is a type of building.
      Capitalise (especially British) or
      Capitalize, American.
      Not capitolized.

      Sorry Lucy but I can’t stand this kind of faults. Call picky if that make you feel better :)

      • Will -  April 30, 2015 - 10:39 am

        Lilian R., it’s either “this kind of fault” or “these kinds of faults.” Either way, your adjective does not agree with your noun the way you wrote it. PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES… you know the rest.

        • Sherry -  May 2, 2015 - 5:14 pm

          Will, you’re the coolest!

      • P. J. Stewart -  May 1, 2015 - 6:09 am

        Lucy, Lillian misspelled many words in her comment. I don’t think it really matters to her how she spells capital. But on the other hand I was taught that I is capitalized because I is my name.

        • Luis Jr. Garcia -  May 4, 2015 - 1:21 am

          I agree P. J. It is giving due respect to your one and only self. Standards in formal writing should stay as it is.

          • Rebecca -  May 4, 2015 - 4:45 pm

            Then why don’t we capitalize “me” when referring to yourself?

      • Sherry -  May 2, 2015 - 5:00 pm

        Lilian, for someone who’s ‘picky’, you made a major mistake: it’s ‘these kinds of faults’ NOT ‘this kind of faults’! I knew you’d appreciate the correction, being that you’re so picky.

    • ervin S. -  April 29, 2015 - 4:31 pm

      i guess, like in this instance it would be okay in matters of texting and simple emails. however standards should be kept in certain things and should never change, we should get extremely nerveous when the medical profession, areospace, and Theological developments stop using capital lettering.

  14. Phil -  April 25, 2015 - 9:10 am

    Spanish language capitalizes!

    • Salvador Ríos -  May 1, 2015 - 8:20 am

      But not the equivalent pronoun “yo” Phil, regards.

  15. i -  April 20, 2015 - 5:39 pm

    Most people, or at least the ones i know, don’t capitalize the pronoun i because they are too lazy. The are the people i am always correcting on grammar. As long as we continue in this slacking spiral of society, we will see lessening in proper grammar everywhere. i am sickened by the lazyness of my generation.

    • B -  April 24, 2015 - 8:36 am

      ‘These’ or ‘They’. Proofread before you complain about other’s grammar!

      • Eileen T. -  April 26, 2015 - 7:14 am

        ** “….before you complain about another’s…” Or “… Before you complain about others’ grammar.”
        Thank you.

    • Hassan -  April 24, 2015 - 9:13 am

      You are also using the lower case.

      • Nikos -  April 24, 2015 - 12:41 pm

        It’s called irony.

    • I. Get it right! -  April 25, 2015 - 5:30 am

      You do realize that you are including yourself as one of those people who you are “always correcting on grammar” and “sickened by”, as you are not even capitalizing “I” yourself! This is probably one of the most hypocritical messages on the web.

    • Eesha -  April 25, 2015 - 7:46 pm

      Lazyness? Also, aren’t you using Lowercase?

    • Eileen T. -  April 26, 2015 - 7:12 am

      The correct spelling is “laziness”. If you recall your elementary English classes, we were all taught to ‘drop the “y” and add “i” when using “ness”. Thank you. Have a fabulous day!

      • M -  May 11, 2015 - 7:42 am

        Thank you for pointing that out… Someone I know spells happiness as h-a-p-p-y-n-e-s-s… Grrrrrr!!! I guess he’s thinking of the movie, “Pursuit of Happyness”…

    • Heather -  April 29, 2015 - 12:37 am

      You can’t be serious. The very thing you are complaining about is exactly what you have done in your post. Assuming most phones autocorrect i to I, it would appear that you deliberately made them lowercase. More than likely you are trolling. If not then you are a fool.
      Do you not believe that language and script have changed throughout our human evolution? Obviously. It doesn’t happen quickly, it’s a gradual change. Anywayzzzzssssss :/ :( :}

    • I -  May 7, 2015 - 6:35 pm

      Funny how you don’t capitalize “i” yourself. Also you didn’t capitalize the beginning of your last sentence. Correct yourself one of these days why don’t you? Hypocrite. Note: I am not good at grammar myself, and am trying to find out if you capitalize I in it’s or not, but this guy is retarded. Makes me sick. I bet when he corrects people he is actually messing them up, and if he’s good at it then why does he complain and then not show he’s good at it? So DON’T BE A HYPOCRITE WHEN YOU TYPE.

    • D Kirk -  May 8, 2015 - 10:11 pm


  16. Maurice -  April 20, 2015 - 6:51 am

    I think that “I” will allways be proper, but eventually none will really care witch you use.

    • Rachel -  April 21, 2015 - 8:11 am

      Be a bit Witch-like, I prefer the use of the proper “which.”

    • Don -  April 21, 2015 - 10:44 am

      This response would be better during Halloween!

    • Frank Dubbles -  April 21, 2015 - 1:25 pm


  17. Silver Letter -  April 19, 2015 - 5:13 pm

    Those that refuse to capitalize “I” think they know better but what they are doing is insulting the English language. It’s not about status. It’s about being proper writers of the language.

    • Zanzibar -  April 20, 2015 - 8:35 pm

      The English language is extremely flexible. Insisting that people stick to arbitrarily made rules is limiting the growth and evolution. Many languages make changes when being used among friends (such as French ‘vous’ and ‘tu’) and that’s becoming part of English.

    • Don -  April 21, 2015 - 10:43 am


    • Eileen T. -  April 26, 2015 - 7:09 am

      You mean “those WHO refuse”, don’t you?
      “That” refers to an object, where “who” refers to a person or persons. Thank you.

      • Adam J. -  June 23, 2015 - 9:44 am

        It’s the same really… ‘that’ is okay for both uses.

  18. DEC -  April 19, 2015 - 5:15 am

    The “I” has no head in a person whereas the “i” does have. Hmmmm…. :)

  19. jtm999 -  April 17, 2015 - 10:31 pm

    As long as handwriting continues I don’t think that the capitalisation of ‘I’ will end

    • Luis -  April 20, 2015 - 4:29 pm

      Today capitalization of the I is a matter of culture. It will be kept by English speaking people because it is deeply rooted in our daily living. Furthermore the dictionaries on every writing application will correct it as “I”.

      • Court -  May 2, 2015 - 11:41 am

        I agree!

    • Gillian -  May 1, 2015 - 8:48 am

      Very good point.

    • AbbyAllen -  October 13, 2015 - 2:58 pm

      Cursive writing has been eliminated from the curricula of most school districts–and texting eliminates most capital letters and punctuation. So, an “i” in the middle of a message (not even a sentence, much of the time) is usually lower case automatically–except that some of us “oldtimers” can’t stand that and take extra effort to correct punctuation and capital letters anyway.

      Unfortunately, formal written language is becoming extinct!

  20. Curtis -  April 15, 2015 - 11:05 pm

    I am a Rebel! When writing, I sometimes Capitalize word that I want to have Strong meaning or to give a word a Punch. Although in my Corporate setting, I will Stick to the Traditional form of writing. I Do Agree We should Capitalice ‘We’. Blessings!

    • Luca -  April 23, 2015 - 10:07 am

      Which one are you talking about? Capitalizing or Capitalising?

    • Court -  May 2, 2015 - 11:47 am

      Please proof-read your message before posting it. Obviously, the technological device you are using is lacking “spellcheck.”

  21. Michael Lisher -  April 15, 2015 - 5:51 pm

    Those in favour, say I. Those opposed, say i

    • MrG -  April 24, 2015 - 5:57 pm

      Eye for an aye, sir.

    • Cynthia Soderquist -  April 29, 2015 - 2:39 pm

      I ! I only minimize myself when I’m feeling depressed. Gladly that isn’t too often. ;-)

  22. Al -  April 14, 2015 - 5:49 am

    The ‘ I’s ‘ have it.

  23. Rick -  April 13, 2015 - 9:43 pm

    I am my own god. i am better than I will ever be.

    • God -  April 15, 2015 - 6:08 pm

      We are each other’s gods, if you know what I mean

    • God -  April 15, 2015 - 6:10 pm

      We should hang out xox

    • God -  April 15, 2015 - 6:11 pm


    • Jesus -  April 15, 2015 - 6:18 pm

      What about john?

    • Jesus -  April 15, 2015 - 6:19 pm

      And Luke?

    • John -  April 15, 2015 - 6:21 pm


    • Cloe -  April 16, 2015 - 12:48 am

      You didn’t capitalise the I on your second sentence

    • Tommy Turner -  April 26, 2015 - 8:02 pm

      I am good and I am sometimes bad. I is always supported on one side are the other by many fine characters. In life I have support that I will forever careing on both sides of Me.
      I feel that that the early Americans others to understand who I was; Big Strong and determined and each time that BIG I was written on documents the British would be thinking of that big pain in their asses I was; So the big I went with big signature at the bottom of the page. So your full name was speeking loudly every time every the capital I was read to a council. Anger grew in many documents.

  24. leanemohrski -  March 7, 2015 - 10:51 pm

    Accordingly, that is the rule. We should always capitalize when we use or write I. However, sometimes when chat with my friends, the “I” becomes “i” since it is acceptable and no problem to them.

  25. Hello -  February 10, 2015 - 1:32 pm

    It is indicative of our western American culture which values self-importance and self-aggrandizing above the importance of others. I am in favor of allowing mid-sentence use of the capitalized word “i” to go extinct.

    • Me -  April 14, 2015 - 9:39 am

      I don’t think Brits, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans etc would appreciate their capitalized ‘I’s being called indicative of anything American.

  26. Name -  August 1, 2014 - 4:19 am

    I think sentences look awkward without “I” capitalized.

    • Lorraine -  April 13, 2015 - 10:12 pm

      In time we can all get used to it.

  27. Quintin Mariano -  April 28, 2014 - 4:13 am

    Words in English are written according to their grammatical rules. Sometimes things evolve and so are some vocabularies in some languages. Then comes a researcher, or someone with a keen eye, and wanted to make something out of it, Wow, it was not like that before, let’s bring back the original form! What for? Is he aiming for fame for himself? Is the change hurting others?
    Anyone can write any way he wants, and we cannot say he is out of line in any way, but he is out of the rules of English Grammar.

  28. Panda -  April 26, 2014 - 10:20 am

    The “I” expresses the speaker, which is us. Personally I think that nobody wants to be an “i”. Everyone at least ought to stand tall and unique just like an uppercase i — I. But that’s just me.

  29. vanboy -  March 29, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    Not a great deal of details within this story, what happened for the boat?

  30. Christopher -  March 16, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    yes because Im 13 and earlyer this year one of my friends told me to capitalize I and im telling another friend to capitalize I and all over Miiverese I have only seen a few people capitalizeing there I’s

    • Kyros -  November 16, 2014 - 9:15 pm

      And yet, you failed to capitalize it in “im”, which should be “I’m”.
      I, too, am thirteen, and find it rather hypocritical of you to criticize others over a mistake you make yourself.

      • sham -  November 30, 2014 - 3:12 am

        What about “there I’s” in place of “their I’s”..

      • Shaun -  December 14, 2014 - 12:13 pm

        Woah. That’s deep.

      • Muna -  January 21, 2015 - 11:13 am

        @Kyros, that’s because he’s learning. You can see that there are a few other punctuation, and spelling mistakes in what he’s written. Please go easy on him.

      • Asher -  April 19, 2015 - 4:22 pm

        Christopher never actually criticised anyone in his comment. So I wouldn’t go branding him a hypocrite!

  31. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 5, 2014 - 12:53 am

    Hmm. As long as we have email, texting, and social media like Facebook and Twitter, “I” will sometimes be capitalized and sometimes not. Although a single, uncapitalized i does look kind of lonesome.

  32. Bikash Jain -  February 1, 2014 - 11:56 am

    I stands tall when it is ‘I’ and not ‘i’. It don’t think it should/will go extinct. We should always retain the intrinsic value of old, that is Gold. There will always be talks on reason on “why something is the way it is”. Either we know the reason or we don’t; but the bottom line is, modify it if and only if it makes the world (or precisely the object) better. Let’s stick with a tall I.

  33. Chris -  January 29, 2014 - 9:22 am

    I think if the letter i is at the beginning then yes capitalize it but i think if it is within a sentence there is no logical reason thus its naming convention should be changed. It is not good to do things “just because”. That is not the scientific way!

    • D -  August 26, 2014 - 3:57 am

      okaychrisishallnotleavespacesusepunctuationnorusecapitallettersbecause “it is not scientific, since spaces, punctuation, and capital letters are used ‘just because’”.
      If you can make-out what is at the start of this message, go ahead and be unconventional. More power to you!

      • Nathan -  October 2, 2014 - 11:08 pm

        Spaces are used to separate units of meaning, and becaue it’s harder to read without spaces. Changing I to i, as we often do in text messages and social network posts, does not affect comprehension whatsoever.

        It’s good to have standards in written English, especially within publications, because consistency lends an air of confidence. Still, the point is, capitalizing “I” is arbitary. Putting spaces between words is not. Your argument is a bit of a non sequitur considering the rest of the post.

        • Cynthia -  April 29, 2015 - 2:56 pm

          As I was telling my granddaughter the other day, punctuation is very important. When you read aloud it is your cue that you can breathe there. Don’t get me started on the today’s use of there, their and they’re. Aarrg !!!

    • Nathan -  October 2, 2014 - 11:11 pm

      D’s argument is contradictory, but, Chris, there’s no reason to go back to the old way, either. Would we gain anything? No. Would we lose anything? No. If the letter I were to all of a sudden be left in lowercase in the middle of sentences, reading in English would not be affected one iota.

  34. Not an English major -  November 24, 2013 - 8:23 pm

    Hey, I certainly hope that we as people can get together and totally destroy our own language. This makes it possible for everyone to get a great job. If we all sound like morons, we can all be scientists, doctors and presidents. One would never know if we were intelligent or just outright stupid.

    I guess for the I or i part, when referring to ourselves I always thought we used the capital I. As for the lowercase i, I always thought it was used in things such as stories for example.

    John wrote that i was using the uppercase and lowercase I incorrectly, referring to myself and not himself. (PS, I am no English major and probably made a mistake or two here.)

    I do hope that internet talk goes away. I am scared to death on the future of us, our children, and our country.

    • X -  November 3, 2014 - 4:46 am

      Language is not static, it is always changing.

      But I wouldn’t worry about the future or the world. We’re screwed anyway, so no sense worrying about it in my view.

  35. Jynx Monroe -  October 19, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    I hope that the capitalisation of the letter “I” doesn’t go “extinct”. The only reason it would “go extinct” is purely because people don’t want to put the extra effort in to capitalising it in their e-mails and texts.
    Yes, languages change as time and culture does, but if this were to be changed it would be purely because people are becoming lazy and neglect to put effort in to speech and typing, not because of any fantastic, significant reason.

    • Abigail -  April 16, 2015 - 6:51 pm

      I love you guys!

    • In my opinion this case clearly shows that how much English people "Selfish" -  April 14, 2015 - 11:43 pm

      In my opinion this case clearly shows that how much English people are “Selfish”

  36. j -  April 21, 2013 - 9:08 am

    Personally I NEVER captilize names of corporations or people I have no respect for – an example includes facebook

  37. ac4u -  April 11, 2013 - 5:12 am

    Big ego!

  38. Oleviolin -  March 14, 2013 - 12:26 am

    The automatic capitilization of I in Microsoft word is a true nuisance for scandinavian speakers.
    In scandinavaian languages the word “in” is spelt i and thus get capitalized by Microsoft word. In Danish there is furthermore a capitilzed “I” meaning “you” (second person plural”). The preposition in is quite common use in most languages if anybody can tell me how to turn the automatic capitalization of this word off in word, I would be most happy

    • Monster -  March 4, 2015 - 4:38 pm

      I though it only did that when the language was set to English, because it doesn’t auto capitalize “i” for me when it’s set to Norwegian (,except for in the start of a sentence.)

    • DeNelo -  April 16, 2015 - 5:55 am

      The article states that “English is the only language that does [capitalize I]“.
      As Oleviolin just said, in Denmark we capitalize “I” as well – only in the meaning “you” (2. person plural)).
      So the article is wrong on that point, whichever way you look at it.

  39. Ina Bliss AKA TheFig -  February 2, 2013 - 8:54 am

    English is the End-Time language, La Lingua Pura.

    The Capitalized “I” Stands for “1″ (ONE!) symbolizing I AM|One (The Absolute One (Sh’ma), called God.

  40. Stella -  May 30, 2012 - 12:58 am

    It’ll be kept alive in essays, letters and formal emails.

  41. The Cheshire Cat -  April 3, 2012 - 4:54 pm

    …ya know, that is a very good question! probably because some random person was all like ‘well the word ‘i’ is like a name!’ so everybody started capitalizing it.

  42. sherryyu -  April 3, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    kk xcome done pppl

  43. Vinny -  April 1, 2012 - 6:57 am

    Parker on March 1, 2012 at 7:29 am
    I will become i only if ego should die. lol

  44. Mr. Anonomous -  March 31, 2012 - 8:43 am

    This article was intresting and I think it is hilarios why “i’ became upercased

  45. mary torres ~lots of love ~ -  March 28, 2012 - 9:09 am

    i love pizza

  46. Grammar Forever -  March 25, 2012 - 1:54 pm

    If I have anything to say about, the word ‘I’ shall always be capitalized!

  47. mary torres so swagging -  March 17, 2012 - 9:43 am


  48. Vick -  March 15, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    I doubt the ‘I’ capitalisation would go extinct. Still, I prefer it to be capitalised because its much better.

  49. Brigitte -  March 15, 2012 - 7:44 am

    Great article. I always wondered why “I” is capitalized. Being German, it never bothered me to capitalize certain nouns in English.
    In @mails or texting I don’t mind the “extra work”…..to me it just looks better, and it is easier to read. There is nothing selfish about the “I”.

  50. DJ RGT -  March 15, 2012 - 7:06 am

    Ok that kool beans

  51. mary torres so swagging -  March 14, 2012 - 9:58 am

    dj rgt lol thats what i was going for lol

  52. DJ RGT -  March 12, 2012 - 11:54 am

    Dam Mary Torres that harsh stuff

  53. coool! -  March 12, 2012 - 11:11 am

    go extinct?????

  54. mary torres so swagging -  March 11, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    @ archon go play with yourself ! brick

  55. mary torres so swagging -  March 11, 2012 - 1:14 pm


  56. Archon -  March 10, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    @ Mary Torres So Irritating

    Go be “bord”, or, a board, somewhere else. Let the big people talk. Put on your Hannah Montana t-shirt, and go play with your see-and say.

  57. Cheer4issy -  March 10, 2012 - 12:41 am

    Uh yeah, they do speak horribly, but that’s just arrogance.

  58. Parsely -  March 9, 2012 - 9:30 am

    THIS is supposed to be why I is capitalized? i looks bad?

    I like my myth better, and I will be sticking with it.
    It goes like this:

    Words, like ‘mother’ and ‘dad’ are capitalized when used in place of a proper name. I use I in place of my proper name, so I should be capitalized too!

    a capital I-dea, no?

    • AbbyAllen -  May 5, 2015 - 9:34 pm

      Parsely–this argument makes more sense to me than any of the above. It has substance and a parallel example. Good job!

  59. mary torres so swagging -  March 9, 2012 - 8:30 am

    @ashli so what take a hike but when your in high school youll know dipshit !

  60. Ashli -  March 7, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    By the way it is really sad when an 11 year old (me) uses better grammar than adults!

  61. Ashli -  March 7, 2012 - 6:57 pm

    Oh my gosh I’m really disappointed in the IGNORANCE in Americans and how we have no structure. I think everything would be just find if Americans stuck to the laws of grammar. Seriosly people have you ever noticed the negative effects of using “text speak”. Usually you actually start to write and talk like that.

  62. IIIII -  March 7, 2012 - 11:46 am

    I’s are more important than we. English is more egocentric than German.

  63. thomas jefferson -  March 7, 2012 - 7:37 am


  64. Gonocha -  March 7, 2012 - 4:22 am

    in my opinion ,it is better and even best if preserve the capitalization rule.
    even if some of them have accedental origin.

  65. Gonocha -  March 7, 2012 - 4:15 am

    as it mentioned in the comment above due the use of electronic devices such as
    mobiles and computers for messaging purpose becomes the great headache for
    the survival of capitalization rule.to save time people use only the lower case letters during typing.but how ever,if capitalization is totally exticate ,what disastreous problem the language phase!

  66. CgoestoIndo -  March 6, 2012 - 9:18 pm

    Indonesian capitalizes the word for you but not the word for I. I have wondered the cultural significance of that.

  67. Ironic Twist -  March 6, 2012 - 7:41 pm

    I find it ironic that some people who say “I” will not become extinct use the LOWERCASE I (as in ‘i don’t think so’). This just proves declining grammar and spelling priorities in today’s society.

  68. Anon -  March 6, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    To all those who feel that their English is better.

    The English language doth change. Gettith over thyself.
    (Please excuse my poor Old English)

    Jokes aside, the English language changes. You can’t just try to declare your form of English to be the gold standard and insult everybody else, as some posters here seem to be doing. Even without that wonderful factoid, it is true that many teenagers deviate from standard spelling and grammar in their texts. However, these people still manage to be understood and have no problem with using more formal grammar structures. it is pure folly to assume that the English language is going down the hole because a new form of communication has been invented and is being used fully.

    On a completely unrelated and possibly biased side note, does anyone else here feel that no matter the era, the adult generation thinks that the world is going to end when the younger generation takes over?

  69. jherick -  March 6, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    I also wonder why it doesent have to do anything with the roman numeral since we capitalize the letter “i” to make it a roman numeral when typing.

  70. Claudia -  March 6, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    Hopefully, it won’t. I hate the text speak and I’ve never used it. I would always correct my friends if they used text speak and hey, I made a difference with my friends on Facebook. They start to capitalize now, which is great to me. Having the capitalized ‘I’ go extinct is going to be a huge deal for me. Like I always said, “Type correctly for me to take you seriously.” And whenever I correct someone with their capitalization, they tell it’s not ‘cool’ for my age. Just because I’m younger than thirteen, does that mean I have to be a lazy person like the people at my school? No, I don’t think so.

  71. Mob -  March 6, 2012 - 6:38 pm

    I think people have just become lazy with their writing. Complaining about a simple hold of the shift key is the ultimate in laziness. It can be done with the left hand while using the right hand for the I. Laziness in everything has become an epidemic now. I actually hate to text prefering to speak rather than type out a whole text. It adds the personal touch and while in sales and marketing it was customary to make a call to win the client over, it made them feel you really were interested in their business.

    Now can we figure out a way to get computers to take an apostrophe for those of us given a name like O’Reilly who probably makes sure the Bill version gets his name done properly. Ever hear an automated machine pronounce a name that should have an apostrope? It is so garbled. I demand a campaign by all of us to get it done. Apostrophe named people UNITE!!!!!!!

  72. Barrios -  March 6, 2012 - 6:04 pm

    I believe the reason why people want for the capital “I” to go extinct is because there to lazy to press shift and I at the same time

  73. William -  March 6, 2012 - 6:00 pm

    lol lol lol lol lol laughing out louuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddd

  74. William -  March 6, 2012 - 5:59 pm

    I personally think that the lowercase i looks weird. Even though I really wouldn’t mind if the uppercase i went extinct. I guess people are just used the uppercase i. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  75. Sunshine 12 -  March 6, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    the capital I will never become exstinct. “I” is way to important!!!!

  76. niji -  March 6, 2012 - 5:31 pm

    no…i don’t think so, cuz people are selfish and they think of themselves highly XD

    but what i know is, in writing i usually write it in caps while in typing, it’s usually in lower case :)

    btw, small “i” is way cuter than “I”

  77. noname -  March 6, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    HarD I messed up on my first comment don’t read it
    Find the i

  78. noname -  March 6, 2012 - 5:00 pm


  79. Bookworm -  March 6, 2012 - 4:44 pm


    That is not weird. My dad always uses correct punctuation, grammar, capitalization, etc. in his emails. I have never seen him write or type something without proper capitalization (and very sophisticated speech). I do the same thing.

  80. Bookworm -  March 6, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    Mika Clark cannot spell “unbelievably”. That is unbelievably pathetic.

  81. Nathan -  March 6, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    It seems as though grammar itself is becoming less important. I personally think that capitalizing “i” will become extinct. But I will continue to use it. “I” is used as a proper noun like a name. That’s just how I see it.

  82. Anonymous -  March 6, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    *_i_* certainly think it’s okay… lawl this is so funny xP xD

  83. island cinta -  March 6, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    i realy don’t see the difference. It’s just a lonly letter…..boohoo.

    Ithink it’s funny LOL hahahahahahahaha

    hey professer D i thought you died….. the reserection stone!!!!!!! you sly dog/cat

  84. Harry Potter -  March 6, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    LOL PROFFESER!! Like OMG!!! I like *airy teen posh sigh* think that is SO LEGIT. Snap. HooHooHoo! I like *airy teen posh sigh* Completely ponipagrayy! LOL. Actually, I think those who like using the small “i” for meaning yourself should just be content with being a little person with NO possibility of improving yourself in communication or employment.
    Imagine a College Professor or an employer receiving a written paper from you that is written entirely in cell phone texting style. That is the person who will fail in both class and life. Writing is important in life. If we are unable or unwilling to learn the right way then we will not have the opportunities to improve our own life styles.
    Would you rather be a member of a sales staff, with an impressive salary, or would you rather be a store clerk, at minimum wage? Communication is what it is all about. Do you want to be an unemployable kid at age 45 or a successful business person at age 25? Make the decision to communicate properly with society rather than be a teenager till death, failing all the way.

    Read more at http://mypillowpets.com/

    • Professor Snape -  October 10, 2014 - 10:31 am

      Why don’t you use your magic and learn how to spell! It seems to have worked in your favor in the second paragraph but not at all in the first paragraph.
      It’s professor, with an o, Harry!

  85. bridget -  March 6, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    I dont think and the i looks so skinny and sad and lonely instead of I

  86. zabba7461@Roblox.com -  March 6, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    Agreed with clivebeesly. It’s been a part of writing for a while. People have gotten into the habit of writing it like that. It is an interesting and unique part of english and it will be passed down over and over.

  87. Harry Potter -  March 6, 2012 - 3:23 pm

    I agree, Professor Dumbledore.

  88. Qwertyuioplkjhgfdsazxcvbnm -  March 6, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    I’m sooo glad it’s capitalized “I”. I mean, look at this.
    “i luv e-mail and i know u do 2.”
    If it turns into a habit, you’ll flunk out in assignments.

  89. 8===D -  March 6, 2012 - 2:46 pm


  90. 8===D -  March 6, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    I is capitalized because its used as a name

  91. :) -  March 6, 2012 - 1:30 pm


  92. krystal -  March 6, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    Of course not! We only loose proper writing habits in E-mail and instant messages because they are meant for conversation, not a term paper.

    The pronoun ‘I’ is not going anywhere anytime soon.

  93. Sadie -  March 6, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    I think the only reason we are “digressing” is because we, as a culture, are simply lazy. (No offense to those of you who have thought it out and decided not to place yourselves above others, etc.) I think we would remain with the capitalized “I” were we not so lazy, however, I also doubt that the fact of our laziness will change anytime soon.

  94. Eugene Neus -  March 6, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    If the sixteen refers to your age, you are a brilliant young man. Have you read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess? In this novel, the author creates a language which is a conglomeration of several languages. Perhaps you should write down your own ideas- you may be a novel writer in the making….

  95. Alecia -  March 6, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    As far as this goes in text messaging, most of the phones that I have had (including my current one) automatically capitalize the letter “i” when it is typed alone. People would actually have to make an effort to make it lowercase!

    …Brought to you by the letter “i”…

  96. Zelda -  March 6, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    I alawys thought it was because we capitalize names like Marvin, so I should be capitilized. But, now that I think about it, it doesn’t make since that we or us isn’t capitalized.

  97. Delana -  March 6, 2012 - 12:20 pm

    It seems that most of the comments I read are fixated on the selfish appearance of capitalizing the pronoun I. However the article has a completely different conclusion for the change and here I will quote the exact phrase. “It grew for a silly reason: a single letter looks bad.”
    Another thing, I saw someone refer to the french word ‘ je ‘ and how it was only capitalized when at the beginning of a sentence. I can not help but point out that it is not a singular letter but, in fact, two.
    The reason for the capitalization, although fickle, is not vain. It was a simple matter of appearance. Writers felt that the lowercase was just not as appealing…

    Now about the subject of regression. I understand that most youth and even some adults use improper grammar and spelling when texting or typing. This is for convenience. I have yet to find a job that will accept someone who uses ‘text-talk’ on an application. It is more likely that this is a phase in writing such as calligraphy. At some point in the future humanity may stray from this practice as well.

    All the above ideas come from a high school student…

  98. Alice -  March 6, 2012 - 11:44 am

    I like the capitalized ‘I’. It does look a lot better than just ‘i’.

  99. pandrew9 -  March 6, 2012 - 10:50 am

    Yet we don’t capitalize the word a (as in a solitary item) even though it meets the same conditions? Doesn’t it sound unfair to the rest of the Grammer world?

  100. mary torres so swagging -  March 6, 2012 - 9:35 am

    yup i know thats right :D

  101. Kimudo -  March 6, 2012 - 9:30 am

    I don’t believe the capital i will go extinct for one, simple, reason: with all of our contractions and digital short-hand these days, we have more and more abbreviations which promote unusual use of punctuation.

    How many times have we seen sentences like this? “Mr. H., will you, please – for the love of all that is good(and decent) – cont. I’m requesting extra time.”

    In situations like this, the period is ambiguous in it’s meaning. It could signify an abbreviation, an end of sentence, use of crib or shorthand, or even simply a typo. The capital I, while not clear if part of the previous sentence or not, helps to provide a breaking point for the reader… something to take as a given in an uncertain situation, which can help to break up and interpret the surrounding messages. Use of a lowercase i could be even more problematic. Might it be ennumeration? Bullet? Perhaps subtext or a cited footnote? What about summary confusion with other methods of notation?

    While a capital I may not be as speedy to type (though the use of a keyboard with two hands reduces this argument to a moot point), it is also very easy to see the emotive use of I as a statement of value assigned to a singular individual, someone of importance, something that English speakers are well known for.

  102. Professor Dumbledore -  March 6, 2012 - 8:54 am

    Personally, I believe that the capitalized “I” should stay as it is.
    Lower case “i” just looks insignificant to me.

  103. sarah -  March 6, 2012 - 8:42 am

    I always capitalize the letter I and other things like that because it doesn’t seem grammatically correct to not do stuff like that- even on an email or this I am used to writing normally. Weird, I know.

  104. Bee a Success -  March 6, 2012 - 8:22 am

    Those who like using the small “i” for meaning yourself should just be content with being a little person with NO possibility of improving yourself in communication or employment.

    Imagine a College Professor or an employer receiving a written paper from you that is written entirely in cell phone texting style. That is the person who will fail in both class and life. Writing is important in life. If we are unable or unwilling to learn the right way then we will not have the opportunities to improve our own life styles.

    Would you rather be a member of a sales staff, with an impressive salary, or would you rather be a store clerk, at minimum wage? Communication is what it is all about. Do you want to be an unemployable kid at age 45 or a successful business person at age 25? Make the decision to communicate properly with society rather than be a teenager till death, failing all the way.

  105. Rachel -  March 6, 2012 - 8:12 am

    I never had an issue with the capitalized English “I” because of the simple fact that proper names in English are always capitalized, and I suppose I rationalized that “I” is one’s name for them self.

  106. BOBNAMELESS -  March 6, 2012 - 8:04 am

    yes. it will. see, i even didn’t use it here. punctuation will disappear too

  107. nour -  March 6, 2012 - 7:02 am

    ya true :p

  108. nour -  March 6, 2012 - 7:02 am

    ya true :D

  109. Anonymous -  March 6, 2012 - 6:44 am

    Oops spelled “Anonymous”, “Anymous”

  110. Anymous -  March 6, 2012 - 6:43 am

    Ich denke das den große “I” nicht weg gehen will. Leute use es oft.

    in English: I think that the capital “I” will not become extinct. People use it too often.

  111. Logical -  March 6, 2012 - 6:33 am

    The word “I” serves as a proper noun: referring to a specific person and therefore it is logical according to the rules of pronouns. Each time we use the word it replaces speaking our names in the third person ie : we do not announce our arrival by saying “jimmy is here,” Instead we say “I am here.”. It actually makes more sense to capitalize than to not capitalize. On the other hand, when we use th expression “every Tom, Dick, and Harry,” we are not referring to specific individuals and those names should not be capitalized. IMHO.

  112. John -  March 6, 2012 - 6:06 am

    one thing that really peeves me is people who will write entire e-mail letters with nary a capital. lazy, that’s all i can figure. when i receive one, i usually assume a low iq.

  113. Hayley Pearson -  March 6, 2012 - 5:55 am

    No “I” will not go extinct. Why? Because we have been using it for so long as it is. But according to Apple, they dont like capitalizing their “I’s” [iPod, iPad, iPhone, ect....]

  114. gym -  March 6, 2012 - 4:36 am


    it is funyy people liked it

  115. Daniel Lee -  March 6, 2012 - 4:21 am

    I doubt it

  116. Emma Charlotte -  March 6, 2012 - 3:24 am

    I hope it doesn’t go extinct! I believe that the capital I is a unique part of the English language. I also think it just looks better that way.

  117. Vangolia -  March 6, 2012 - 3:00 am

    Quite cool!!!

    I am sure that capital I will not extinct

  118. I love I -  March 6, 2012 - 12:24 am

    I LOOOOVEEEEEE THE PRONOUN I !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  119. Justin Beaver -  March 5, 2012 - 11:25 pm

    It shall NEVER die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  120. Ami-Akira -  March 5, 2012 - 10:54 pm

    I prefer a capitalized I than a small one. But whats the big deal. Use the I as you wish.

  121. roy -  March 5, 2012 - 10:51 pm

    why waste time pressing shift, then i? its so much easier as a little i.

  122. Rebecca -  March 5, 2012 - 10:42 pm

    i personally like the lil’ dot on top of the i, it makes it actually look like an “i” and not just a lowercase “L”
    so i say let it go exticnt, its time for a change.

  123. i'm stupid -  March 5, 2012 - 10:32 pm


  124. Vesuvio -  March 5, 2012 - 10:26 pm

    The capitalised I will not become extinct.
    Regardless of the reasoning behind its conception, it makes absolute sense to capitalise I unless we wish to write about ourselves in the third person.
    “Jessica and i went to the park.” Why would we capitalise Jessica but not the letter that represents us in this sentence?

    As long as we uphold respect in ourselves and our language we will continue to capitalise I.
    Do not allow the mindless degenerates who misuse our language to take even a shred of pride in it and its correct execution from you.

    • N -  May 10, 2015 - 6:01 am

      For all of you that keep saying that “I” is a proper noun, well it is not. I is a singular personal pronoun just like you, he and she. We do not capitalise pronouns unless at the beginning of a sentence. The only reason why I is capitalised is either because the lowercase i will look weird and lonely or because we think too much of ourselves. Either case, I always capitalise it because it is the rule of the english language.

  125. kevin -  March 5, 2012 - 10:10 pm

    ahahah.I also wish that “I” will not go Extinct As I do.Hope “I” will last than I.

  126. vic -  March 5, 2012 - 9:45 pm

    maybe soon after 15 years i guess

  127. jend7 -  March 5, 2012 - 2:29 pm

    i like diz 1…stp caring about captalization pple..
    u’re juz wast’n ur time, jus remmbr dat
    its shuld be alwayz

    kno Wat???
    it luks nize
    wen it not capitalize!!
    “lil-lol-lize” (*ain’t X tinct*)

    >>tHaNkZ y’All<<

  128. mary torres so swagging -  March 5, 2012 - 10:59 am

    hey yall whats up

  129. mary torres 4 ever -  March 5, 2012 - 10:03 am

    heeeyyy who wants to talk im bord as hell ;)

  130. Vicaari -  March 5, 2012 - 8:17 am

    I am what I am
    & that’s the way it is
    My philosophy of I

    I think I have said enyed the article

    “I better not go extinct” –like that very much
    & “I will never go extinct!!!..” –like it 2

    Then i better … smthg

    Extinct I !
    Never die !!
    Ohhh, please
    Let live I !!!

    Thanks 4 allow’g…2 express…

  131. SnipahKitteh -  March 5, 2012 - 6:22 am

    No. It comes so naturally to everyone. There’s no way that people will be able to suddenly stop. Maybe over a span of several years, but it is very unlikely.

  132. Black Ice8 -  March 5, 2012 - 3:58 am

    And why shouln’t “i” be captalised? It looks sooooo lonely…

  133. Black Ice8 -  March 5, 2012 - 3:55 am

    NOOO! Capital I can’t go extinct!!! A tiny i won’t do!!! You can barely SEE it!!!

  134. Eman -  March 5, 2012 - 2:55 am

    Hopefully not. It is of utmost importance to observe proper capitalization, and it would be such a shame if it became “extinct”, especially due to the advent of shortened messages.

  135. Shiv shah -  March 4, 2012 - 11:51 pm


  136. lola -  March 4, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    I dont think so, people (some) are just lazy. The only difference is putting more strokes to it. :)

  137. WordNerd -  March 4, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Dictionary.com is such a fantastic website!

  138. swankiestear -  March 4, 2012 - 5:26 pm

    Why cant the language be simple withoutr capitalization and grammor rules> Screw all of this stuff!!!!!!!!!!!! die I become i!!!!!!! :)

  139. J-Wu33 -  March 4, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    Do you think the capitalized I will go extinct? If books and paper go extinct, then yes, I guess the capitalized I will go extinct. But that’s probably not going to happen for a while.

  140. algebramaster159 -  March 4, 2012 - 4:43 pm

    i don’t think so.the majority of people don’t know the story behind ”i”,therefore the people who don’t know the story behind ”i”,will continue to capitalize ”i”.

  141. coco tings -  March 4, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    so boring why waste your time

  142. Kevin Martin -  March 4, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    I’ve read similar information somewhere else before. We capitalize I just because it looks good when capitalized.

  143. GenomeGnomeNomeNom -  March 4, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    Not if I have anything to do with it.
    I capitalize “I” in letters, e-mails, texts. Thankfully, my phone does it automatically, so it doesn’t take any extra time.

    In my opinion though, even “I” alone looks silly. Then of course, in fonts likes this, there’s the confusion between ‘capital i’ and ‘lowercase L’.

    Long live serifed fonts!

  144. toot -  March 4, 2012 - 10:15 am

    JJ Consider a single “fewer” instead of “less and less” people.

  145. Larry -  March 4, 2012 - 9:39 am

    Before the capital I goes extinct someone will have to tell all the software that automatically bumps the i to I when left with a space on both sides.

  146. mary torres 4 ever -  March 4, 2012 - 8:40 am

    i love pizza :)

  147. Adam -  March 4, 2012 - 7:09 am

    Interesting how many people thought they were leaving the first comment, even into the second day of comments, when not one of them actually did.

    The first “first comment” was over 4 hours after the actual first. Then there was another 12 hours later, and two more 4 hours after that. Then another 3 hours later, and another after 4 more hours, then one 30 minutes later. All in all, the “first” comments spanned a full 24 hours!

    I could understand if someone had thought they were first, but a few people snuck in a few seconds ahead of them; but 4 HOURS later?! And worse yet, someone the next day who still thought they were first?!

  148. Adam -  March 4, 2012 - 6:43 am

    English has already essentially become two distinct languages, separated by the lazy and the purists. I’ve never really thought of myself as a purist, but I’m certainly not lazy, so as time passes and the lazy become even more so, I suppose I will be what I consider a purist.

    The language was about due for an overhaul. Think of Old English, Middle English, and even King James English. Now we have Formal English, and whatever they’ll be calling this lazy business. It started many years ago with the acceptance of a sloppiness in spoken word that was not allowed in writing. However, the laziness has definitely taken a giant leap with the dramatic increase in email and text messaging.

    I will continue to use spelling, grammar, and punctuation the way I was taught. But since today’s public school system in America allows students to graduate whether they’ve learned the material or not, the next generation, as a whole, will not remember how they were taught.

  149. A Girl Who Writes -  March 4, 2012 - 1:24 am

    I think that Americans are just becoming far too lazy and illiterate. NO MATTER WHAT THE AGE, I believe that all should be fluent in how to PROPERLY write their capitalized and lowercase letters. It seems only right to capitalize “I” when referring to oneself when we do the same when referring to someone else in particular; “Lisa and Jeff went to Louie’s house while *I* stayed home.”

    To do away with even a small amount of the grammar that sets us apart from other parts of the world and often makes our words more sophisticated would be EXTREMELY idiotic and foolish! Do away with “I”, and what’s next? Will we be saying “Jon pizza ate” or “How doing Jane” instead of “I ate the pizza/Jon ate the pizza” or “how are you”? While they are at it, why not just get rid of half of the dictionary and call it good? Keep things simple to the point of insanity.

    Be it in instant message, text message, or comments on one of the social network sites, I will always keep my words and letters as proper as I can!

    English is a combination of many languages, and can have great meaning and extraordinary descriptive power when used properly. Let’s not lose that, people!

  150. Sam McFisher -  March 4, 2012 - 12:20 am

    It looks good when u write on paper the Capital ” i ” but when u type on a computer it’s I sometimes in fonts it’s the same as the small l so Illustrations could differ that’s why, but we are in the Digital ERA I think there will be modifications in fonts we use That’s all, like the most common fonts used .. I don’t know which one is this ..

  151. OgLi BoGli -  March 4, 2012 - 12:14 am

    I guess that’s true.

  152. OgLi BoGli -  March 4, 2012 - 12:13 am

    O realy. :)

  153. Tessa -  March 3, 2012 - 11:44 pm

    The thing is, English can go get stuffed, seriously it has the be the weirdest languages and hardest to learn. but without these strange rules (like i before e except after c) then it wouldn’t be English. each language has it quirks and English is the quirkiest

  154. Alicia -  March 3, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    I hope it doesn’t go extinct because I think “I” looks much better than “i”.

  155. Jon -  March 3, 2012 - 11:04 pm

    “i” is even easier to identify than “I”, especially with fonts that make l and I look the same (the first is a lowercase L and the second is a capitalized i).

  156. Ryan (16) -  March 3, 2012 - 10:57 pm

    i’ve written a lot of words here. in short, i think a new global language should accompany our increasingly globalizing world. please read if you are interested. also, please email me if you have any criticisms, ideas, or suggestions on how to get this idea out there and noticed or if you have any reason to contact me regarding my idea.

    Slightly unrelated, but i personally am very against all of our silly rules and conventions. this may sound very controversial or even crazy, but i seriously think we should give this idea a good thought. i think it would be a great idea for a lot of smart people who are experts on language and… well… anyone who could possibly have anything to do with this from around the world to get together to create a new global language. with all the countries intermingling so much i suspect that in the future people we will become more of a planet earth rather than multitude of countries. just look at the internet. never before has it been so easy to communicate with anyone from anywhere on the earth and in the blink of an eye. this ease of communication will only get easier. notice the global cultures arising too. with this should come a global language. this language should have a set of laws rather than rules. laws, that if broken while communicating, render the communication meaningless. this language should be so easy to use by the pure logic involved, that anyone can learn and use it. this language should be easily interpreted by artificial intelligence. it could be sort of like a programming language. sure something like this will take some time to implement, but the benefits might be worth it in the end. for example, with this new language, “i” and “I” should have such a difference in meaning that it would be unthought of to interchange them. letters like “c” should be eliminated or assigned a different meaning, because it can only function as an “s” or a “k”. it doesn’t have it’s own sound. cannot should be two words. in fact a new character set should be made. there should be more symbols(or something) involved to make the written language more expressive and meaningful. sure this could be accomplished by writing using every word in the dictionary, but there has to be an easier, more logical way. one thing to keep in mind that electronic paper is most likely on it’s way, which makes editing (e.g. moving or re-sizing entire paragraphs) a breeze. (im a bit of a futurist. scratch that. i am very much so) one thing i didn’t think of is to research on the subject. so, everything here is purely my imagination.

    this doesn’t even begin my thoughts on this idea. i suppose i have to stop somewhere, but if anyone is interested and has anything to say about this, please email me. thank you.

  157. Aden -  March 3, 2012 - 10:41 pm

    I personally think that writing a capitalized ‘I’ is also signifying too much of the self. A small ‘i’ is more humble and polite. Since long, i stopped using a capitalized I and instead write a capitalized You to attach more importance to the person i am referring to.
    But i guess this will not lead to the extinction of I.

  158. TS -  March 3, 2012 - 10:24 pm

    I don’t think it will become extinct, though I do think many will stop applying the capital.

    For me typing ‘I’ correctly isn’t a matter of egocentrism or how many milliseconds longer it will take. I type ‘I’ using a capital because it is correct to do so. If it were a matter of speed then we may also consider dropping the ‘s’ from the 3rd person singular in the present tense and say ‘she type’ instead of ‘she types’. After all, the meaning isn’t lost. But if it looks strange to do so, so too should ‘i’.

  159. Noah -  March 3, 2012 - 9:56 pm

    Unfortunately, it will because Americans like me are too lazy to capitalize it.

  160. lolipoo -  March 3, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    Hell freaking no! Otherwise imagine how many books would have to be re written! lolpoo out fof y!our bum

  161. I am i am -  March 3, 2012 - 9:41 pm

    Regardless of time. Capitalising is already extinct in modern society with the use of instant massages.

  162. Hamachisn't -  March 3, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    It is bound to vanish as all languages eventually fade out and are lost (or at least unused). Hey, I didn’t say it would be SOON!


  163. John -  March 3, 2012 - 8:36 pm

    You know what I noticed? when I’m writing, I write the pronoun “I” sort fo how it appears here, just a long line, but when I capitalize a word beginning with the letter “i” i write it with the line above and below it. So, in a way its like “I” as a pronoun and “i” as a letter are two separate symbols in my mind. I is capitalized so that it is recognizable as a whole word and not a unfinished “it” or “is”, that’s how it was explained to me.

  164. beachshoe -  March 3, 2012 - 8:13 pm


  165. beachshoe -  March 3, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    The only (and possibly logical) explanation I could come up with is that when we speak to or write about someone, it would seem strange to think or say “Joe believes Joe will leave now” instead of “I believe I will leave now”. So another person’s name is capitalized, so shoud our term for ourselves.

  166. Amber -  March 3, 2012 - 8:01 pm

    i hope it does. it makes it just a bit easier to type it. i think it looks cool!!!

  167. Snowy -  March 3, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    I don’t think “I” will go extinct. It is very important to keep “I” as the letter and not “i”. Which one looks better?

  168. J.K Rowling -  March 3, 2012 - 6:40 pm

    NOPE don’t think soo……..I FTW!!!

  169. Cornelius Fudge -  March 3, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    The capitalized I will go extinct when the mute man tells the deaf man that the blind man saw a legless man walk on water.

  170. barry -  March 3, 2012 - 6:05 pm

    Sehr Interssant! Ich wusste das nicht.

  171. abi -  March 3, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    i think that in informal writing (i.e. texting, IMing) capitalizing the I will go extinct. for me i usually don’t capitalize I while IMing/texting people. But in formal writing (i.e. letters, essays or just writing on paper) i have the tendency to capitalize I because its natural for me.

  172. elsa/efe 12 -  March 3, 2012 - 5:07 pm

    Young students in grade 6(like me)should have a right to do what they want-in the meantime adults can do whatever they want.Where’s the hope?Where’s the justice?

  173. elsa 12 -  March 3, 2012 - 4:48 pm

    there is no reason to capitalize i so there, its also a waste of time

    • mark -  August 5, 2015 - 8:01 pm

      Yes, it’s such a waste of time to write the simple one stroke letter I as compared to having to write a lowercase i, which is two stokes.

  174. Athena -  March 3, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    I never thought of that before.No I don’t think it will go back to using “i”. At least not completely. For messages like these I dont usually capitalize the letter i. Part of that is just that I forget to and i also just don’t think it is worth the effort to remember. When I type I never capitalize my “i” unless it is for school or something formal. But when I write I capitalize them. I think I am just so used to the computer doing it for me that I forget to capitalize. while writing this whole message I had to keep going back and capitalizing my i’s

  175. Sarah C -  March 3, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    What about cyrilllic? In Russian the backwards “R” which represents “I” as well as being used in other words is always a capital when on its own isn’t it? (Sorry I don’t know the name of the actual letter я )

  176. Orwell -  March 3, 2012 - 3:24 pm

    Letting capitalization rules go out the window for any reason results in degradation of the language.

    As should be implied, language degradation is not a good thing:

    - “wut r u doin”
    - “i lol’d”
    - “y? i dnt thnk u shuld b”

    Apparently quite a few people think that some rules in English can be broken to simplify matters, and thus deprive readers of intended meaning. “Why” may take longer to type than “y,” but your brain will take longer to process “y” than “why” with the added difficulty of trying to figure out what on earth he or she is meaning to say.

    The same goes for capitalization. The letter at the beginning of a sentence is capitalized to ensure that readers know where the next thought or idea begins. “I” is among capitalization rules, and while it does not serve that same critical purpose, the article astutely points out that “i” is small and near-unnoticeable, especially when handwritten.

    Of course, we could just scrap everything and go with the newspeak that trades our grammar rules for laziness.


  177. Bob -  March 3, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    hi I wuz here

  178. Felix -  March 3, 2012 - 3:17 pm

    That doesn’t really matter. Some people say it takes more time to reach over the shift key and press I, that’s kind of lame because it doesn’t take anymore than half a sec to do so. But I agree it does look a little weird when the lowercase i stands there by itself, especially with handwriting. Anyway, as long as no one is gonna call for “abolishing the use of capitalized letters”, I’m good.

  179. mary torres 4 ever -  March 3, 2012 - 2:49 pm


  180. Hayley -  March 3, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    I, personally, like capitalizing ‘I’. It’s more formal and brings sentences together, making it more wholesome. I don’t find it to be arrogant in any way and hope that it doesn’t go extinct.

  181. Kourtney -  March 3, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    For a short period in my life I was bothered that I seemed to perform many “egotistical” acts including the use of the personal pronoun as a capital. Then I realized that I was bothered in this way not because I was actually very non-selfish, but because I selfishly needed some “valid” way to condemn others. And on first intuitions, the only valid way to condemn others is not to do what they do, even if it’s to my detriment. So, it’s not especially noble of anyone not to capitalize “i” as a personal pronoun. All it says about them is that they haven’t thought much of anything through and selfishly want others to be non-selfish, decompose in place, and die off.

  182. Matt -  March 3, 2012 - 2:05 pm

    The I, the ego, must go!

  183. gvilla -  March 3, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    i don’t know; i don’t care. i’m on wii.

  184. Wayne -  March 3, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    Extinct? Perhaps not, it will go the same place that penmanship, correct spelling, proper grammar and other civilized formalities will go — including dictionaries. They’ll reside with the old-timers as relics of a past age.

    Sorry, dictionary.com, you’re days are drifting away.

  185. fred -  March 3, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    i thunk joe is right

  186. joe -  March 3, 2012 - 1:28 pm

    P.S. it will eventually go lowercase any way

    and if u are reading this right now please comment

  187. joe -  March 3, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    Ii think i should go lowercase i mean i play minecraft and i see “i” lowercase all the time. the only reason it got capitalized in the first place is because people are stuck-up and greedy and like to feel important. so i say let i go lowercase and yeah pi-pie rocks

  188. Rio -  March 3, 2012 - 1:15 pm

    Even though I email my friends CONSTANTLY, I still keep the same rules for grammar — spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. I will occasionally resort to text-speak, such as IKR, LOL, IDK, BRB, and others that are commonly understood. I think the only time I avoid a part of grammar is when I’m IM-ing someone; I’ll often drop the *.* at the end of the sentences. I don’t think the personal I should be dropped — we need to remember proper (and respectful) grammar rules. Yes, this is coming from a teenager. Aren’t I so typical? ;)

  189. Rich -  March 3, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    I don’t see the capital i going extinct, perhaps the lowercase becoming acceptable, but the capital remaining extant and perhaps always preferred. I don’t have any authority on the subject, but that seems to be the trend, yes? Grammar forms not dying out but once regarded mistakes becoming commonplace, usually for the sake of efficiency. It was once regarded as incorrect to say, “Someone dropped their umbrella,” as it confuses singulars and plurals, but it’s becoming, if not exactly approved, frequently employed and the ‘rules’ might just bend to accomodate once tongues tire of the tedious “his or her” or the removed, odd sound of “someone has dropped an umbrella” or the yet more bizarrely prophetic sounding, passive voiced, “An umbrella has been dropped by someone!”

    I to i doesn’t offer any efficiency, in grammar or meaning, so I don’t see anything to accelerate or cause the switch. I like capitals! I like knowing that the River Resort is a specific company, an institution that could be found in a dessert and the river resort is a place as well, but unspecified except that it’s actually by a river. As far as ego goes, I don’t see the capital I as a stubborn highlight of some solipsistic perception any more than using i, and if that’s the point of contention our entire first-person verbiage is a much worse offender. I look at the dog. I spoke to the man. Many other languages are more communal in these descriptions, I think it’s japanese, for example, where the construction is the more egalitarian the dog and I looked at each other, even if you’re an active observer and the dog is a passive agent.

    I said a lot while knowing a little, symptomatic of the internet generation, and I’m sorry for that. I thought this was fascinating, I think the I is here to stay!

  190. Black -  March 3, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    I’ve been noticing the number of people who think capitalization my be going the way of the dodo bird…however, there are, amusingly enough, reason to use certain capitals.
    eg. I helped my Uncle Jack off his horse.
    I helped my uncle jack off his horse.
    Makes a difference.

  191. jay -  March 3, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    i kinda of think who the **** would think **** yall who think thay that is my opinon

  192. Jibril Kamfala -  March 3, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    Unanimously is agreed by all that – proper noun was start with capital letter, however ‘I’ is the pronoun of proper one.

  193. jay -  March 3, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    I do not care

  194. Khadija -  March 3, 2012 - 11:55 am

    I love using Capital “I”.
    We should have a capital ‘I’ key on our keyboards :)

  195. Katherine L -  March 3, 2012 - 11:35 am

    As someone with her degree in English (and a brief dabbling in Linguistics), I doubt the capital personal pronoun “I” will vanish. As mentioned in the article, it’s a visual thing: the lower-case “i” is too unassuming in the text when it’s by itself because it’s too small and narrow, and (in a sense) it is a proper name. Compare to the royal “We”, which is also capitalized.

  196. Caityln M. -  March 3, 2012 - 10:57 am

    I never thought about it really, from a high-school-point-of-veiw, but now I do see the arrogance. English, heck, America in general, is arrogant. I still capitalize it in instant messages and texts, but I feel like I might be impartial to the entire thing. The capital ‘I’ is part of culture, but also offensive when you look at it when you look at it in depth.

  197. kevin -  March 3, 2012 - 10:52 am

    We love our titles, and ‘I’ shows how the individual stands out above the others..another way of stating ‘i’ am god…which we does not state….honestly, i believe this is the source of a lot of our problems.

  198. Mike -  March 3, 2012 - 10:38 am

    If this matters to you, you need to get a life :-)

  199. tee -  March 3, 2012 - 10:10 am

    I think grammar rules are so stupid and confusing and none of them make sense but I does. It looks better. Keep I!

  200. Mona -  March 3, 2012 - 9:33 am

    Well, wot about a? It’s lowercase, too. Are we gonna say A A A A A A all the freaking time now? I hope not. English is possibly the dumest, languige on erth. Take my normel speling for egzample. Also inglish is A reely hard languige to lern. And stupid spell check stop corektin may.


    I think the capital I is going to be extinct

  202. Bash -  March 3, 2012 - 8:07 am

    Well, i hOp languages adopt mo’ of a dynamic attitude towards writiN. Otherwise, sum skizm BtwEn d RitN & d pronounced mA’ tAk plAc & d gap wiL grO bigge’ 2 an unbelEvable Xtnt. w d emergence of iPod & rSt of i’s, there’s hOp 2 c dat comin’ neer.

  203. Rainysha Spann -  March 3, 2012 - 8:06 am

    I hope I doesn’t regress back to i. It just looks so awkward. And besides, when we refer to another person we use a capital (i.e Mom, Dad, John, Suzie.) And since we don’t speak in the third person, I think it makes sense to refer to ourselves as I rather than i. That’s just my opinion. And like a teacher once told me “Using the little i shows that you think little of yourself.”

  204. Abida Batool -  March 3, 2012 - 8:00 am

    In My opinion the word ‘ I ‘ will not extinct . . these kind of words or I can say arts of English beautify and enhances the beauty of English.
    Yeah but as coming to the other facty* point SMS and other chatting technologies can ruin the English because most of the people do not even write the full spellings which is really harmful for English and its Grammar too.

  205. Appu -  March 3, 2012 - 7:45 am

    Roxanne – it should be Romanic and not Romantic.

  206. UNKOWN USER -  March 3, 2012 - 7:42 am

    School was made for a reason…

  207. Someone -  March 3, 2012 - 7:40 am

    Well, in case you haven’t noticed most of these comments have been written with I in lowercase (i). Which, although grammatically incorrect, seems to be happening more and more often.

  208. Tony -  March 3, 2012 - 6:28 am

    I always think of “I” as the only proper pronoun; that is, it names or refers to one specific person, the speaker of the sentence. Therefore it should be capitalized. All other pronouns in English can refer to some ambiguous other people, thus are left lowercase.

    Contrary to what Lezza said above, “mom” and “dad” are not titles, but rather nicknames, and as such, nouns. When addressing your mother as Mom, you’re using “Mom” as her name, instead of calling her by her given name. Thus it’s capitalized when used in that manner.

    And confirming what Steve Keoster said, *all* nouns in German are capitalized. So too are 2nd person pronouns in formal mode, but the words mirror the 3rd person plural pronouns.

    Final comment: when refering to God or Jesus, Christian texts in English capitalize pronouns: “I sought His love.”

  209. Sashi -  March 3, 2012 - 5:36 am

    I do not believe it is vain to use a capital for ‘i’. Nobody means to be when they write it, it simply looks better than it does in lower case!
    That is simply an excuse for laziness, I’m afraid. Also, no one has mentioned that ‘I’ is pronounced like the capital letter ‘I’. If we spelt it “i”, then it would follow to pronounce it as ‘i’!! Which would make us Anglo-Saxons sound truly ridiculous… Don’t give in to laziness and trying to be modern for the sake of the contemporary movement. In the end, you’ll be left without the roots of your culture! And btw, I’m not yet an adult. Yet it seems I’m more prepared to preserve our language heritage than you grown ups! Like, wtf???

  210. Lisa -  March 3, 2012 - 3:10 am

    No, the capitalizing the letter “I” will never end, because that’s what every student needs for grammar points in a paper.

  211. Brian H -  March 3, 2012 - 2:36 am

    Only Missy Piggy gets to do this!
    Raymond on March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    “Give the apple pie to ‘Moi’.”

    In French, “moi” is not capitalized; only in M.P. English!

  212. Brian H -  March 3, 2012 - 2:31 am

    Poor Annie, hoist on her own petard:
    Annie on March 1, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Will it? It probably will. Should it? Very definitely not. Why? Because these days everyone seems to be taking the lazy to everything. Some say “too much work to upper and lower case words.” Society has come of the age that words are shortened, mispelled and it appears to be acceptable and has spread like wildfire. This is not acceptable. There needs to be standards in grammer, writing and reading. Younger people have enough of a problem spelling and writing as it is what with computer doing all the thinking to compose sentences. If this slids, a lot of other proper structures will start to slid as well. Just my thoughts.
    That’s “slides”, and “slide”. “Slid” is past tense. ;p

    I agree with the content; too bad you don’t meet your own standards!

  213. Sheikh.Amna Rafiq -  March 3, 2012 - 1:32 am

    I DON’T THINK SO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  214. Tyrone -  March 3, 2012 - 1:26 am

    We capitalise our letters (NOUNS), which incorperates our NOM.
    For example, your name on the birth certifcate, drivers licence,marriage certifcate etc. are all in capitals. There is a reason for this.

    Anything you register in society becomes property of the Crown, and you have equitable rights and privilages, not ownership rights. This includes your children once you have registered them through a birth certifcate they become ward of the state. You only have priviliges to them you not ownership rights, the Goverment has ownership.

    Capital letters = Corperation.

    If you doubt this go and research it.

  215. Kari -  March 3, 2012 - 1:18 am

    despite being a spelling/grammar nut, i don’t capitalize “i” unless i’m writing a term paper or something similarly “official’. i suppose this is out of laziness, but it also has to do with the changing fonts on the net. for instance, if this post were to be displayed in times new roman, i’d be more comfortable with the capitalization, but since it’s in some form of ariel, i don’t like to since i’m prone to mistaking it for a lowercase L.

    i agree with the original reasoning, however. no other language capitalizes it unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence, so what makes english so special? >>;

    i’m not going to say i hope it goes extinct, but i get the feeling that it’ll get phased out as internet culture takes over. i just hope that the rest of the grammatical rules don’t go with it; god help me if i see one more person mistake “your” for “you’re”. ><;;

  216. IQ -  March 2, 2012 - 11:40 pm

    Capitalized “I” extinct? “I” don’t think so…

  217. Maybelle Lambert -  March 2, 2012 - 8:40 pm

    About the capitalised I going extinct, highly doubt it considering teachers are always trying to correct students to following conventions of writing ‘i’ in capitals. Plus when instant messaging it’s usually colloquial, SMS abbreviations are looked upon as ‘stupid and lazy’ by older generations. However then again the younger generation have more rights to overrule them nowadays.

  218. ellie -  March 2, 2012 - 7:29 pm

    I won’t mind if it does go extinct. I’m not a huge fan of capitalizing much of anything that doesn’t enhance intelligibility. I do like consistency, however.

  219. JJRousseau -  March 2, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    YI, Oui, cant or bury, non.

  220. Luke -  March 2, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Quite interesting. I appreciate the trivia.

  221. The "I" Word -  March 2, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    Cool story bro. Never knew about that. Pretty interesting that that’s where the I first became I.

  222. Raymond -  March 2, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Without the benefits of historical etymology, I’d have supposed the change in pronunciation of, I, came from the common occurrence of taking Responsive Roll Call,– e.g. upon calling “Mr. John Doe,” the respondent answers, “Aye,” (or likewise, “Here, Present, Me, Accounted-for”) et cetera, where this word, Aye, is equivalent to Yea (pronounced, “Yae”), and translates in the modern, Yes. But the occasion, for answering, Yes, is when an individual, I, consents or acknowledges, saying, Yes, Yea, Aye– in which case it is capitalized as a one-word sentence… marvelous really: “How many Ayes do we have,” is the count of ‘I’s among the we, in agreement…. so, I, is an agreeable sort….

    Other common languages appear to have something like this: German, Ja (pronounced, ‘Yah’), is rather like the English “Yea,” The French subjective, “je,” means, I, And its, Moi, is like an objective rather than subjective, Oui… in agreement with itself, e.g. “Give the apple pie to ‘Moi’.”

  223. Joshuae27 -  March 2, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    Uhh… I’m just wondering how the German letter “ic” lost the c at the end. How do you just go from pronouncing a word “ik” to pronouncing it “eye”?

  224. Author Jewels Prophet -  March 2, 2012 - 5:41 pm

    Interesting…However, I do not believe that capitalization of the ‘I’ will become distinct merely because e-mails, instant messaging and those who text do not use the shift key or are perhaps to lazy or whatever their reason for not capitalizing any word that should be capitalized would be. It would be just as silly to evolve words to abreviations or acronyms because it is a popular thing to do.

    At any rate, I would hope not! The English language has too many rules and words borrowed from other languages as it is now than to be concerned with keeping up with the latest ‘to do’!

  225. Megan -  March 2, 2012 - 5:30 pm

    I don’t think the capatilized I will go extinct, at least not for a long time. Our language is constantly evolving, but I is a word that has stuck with us. Whether we our studying the ancient Bible, reading Shakespeare, fiction from two hundred years ago or reading a newspaper articles today, the word I is present. I think that we are so used to using this word, even as the English language changes I think “I” will stay present, as will at least a few other words like we. Even if I eventually does die out, I think it will take a very long time, and it likely won’t happen in our lifetime.

  226. Gladys -  March 2, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    I think that, like most things that are going extinct because they have nothing to do with technology, capitalizing “I” WILL indeed go extinct.

  227. Sue -  March 2, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    I feel sure it will; with the laziness of speech, the laziness in writing clearly and the lack of grammatical knowledge, the ‘I’ will slide into oblivion together with other small but wonderful idioms of this language we know as English.

  228. Gladys -  March 2, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Ignore where I wrote: “(don’t make fun)” That was weird and strangely accidentally on purpose.

  229. Gladys (don't make fun) -  March 2, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    I think, like many things that are going extinct because they don’t do with technology, that capitalizing “I” WILL indeed go extinct.

  230. pie -  March 2, 2012 - 3:01 pm


  231. bobby g -  March 2, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    hubris! USA! USA! USA!

  232. Paddy -  March 2, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    i grew to I and deminished to i once more and, maybe many times before.” COMMON USAGE.”

  233. Mojo Pimentel -  March 2, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    No, I do not. Capitalization is significant in instances such as expressing feeling in writing and emphasizing the important. Even as the internet trends go against proper grammar, the Caps Lock key on your keyboard will forever remain of use to those who take themselves seriously.

    Mojo Pimentel.

  234. Jack Eppler -  March 2, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    Texting in general may likely extinquish everything beautiful about language.

  235. Rose -  March 2, 2012 - 12:53 pm

    I will never go extinct!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The capitalized I will never go extinct. Even if words aren’t capitalized in “text talk,” I will remain a capitalized I.

  236. Natalie -  March 2, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    Very cool!!

  237. Mackenzie -  March 2, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    nobody is commenting………………………..
    whats happening!?!
    wake up ppl learn words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    dont take that really offensive


  238. Thomas -  March 2, 2012 - 11:53 am

    I think that the letter I will always be capitalized when referring to the pronoun. I think it does look funny when it isn’t.

  239. Jessica -  March 2, 2012 - 10:45 am

    No, the capital I will not go extinct altogether. The reason it is not capitalized in emails and such is because people don’t take the time to push the ‘shift’ button. It’s a lot easier to just push ‘i’ instead of both buttons. However, while writing, we automatically write ‘I’ because that’s how we were taught.

  240. lester -  March 2, 2012 - 10:44 am

    love it. Plus, it also reflects more of a ‘western’ mentality hilighting the importance of the individual…or maybe I’m just ‘reading’ into it :)

  241. Maggie -  March 2, 2012 - 10:34 am

    Absolutely not! We just need better spell check in emails :) We know it’s got to be capitalized but since it’s just an informal message most of the time, it’s going to stay because it’s acceptable by the receiving party.

  242. Anonymous -  March 2, 2012 - 10:21 am

    I doubt that the capitalised I will ever die out – people are too fond of the convention, and it’s true: lower-case i does look bad, and that hasn’t changed with the centuries.

  243. Edgar Bernal -  March 2, 2012 - 10:08 am

    I like information, I always have. I couldn’t afford to go to college so I guess that’s the reason I like to at least get some understanding of things in general. So, to satisfy myself in that area of understanding, I find Dictionary.com very helpful. Their way to explain things and examples make it so simple and so helpful. Hurray!

  244. Tiffany -  March 2, 2012 - 10:02 am

    I certainly hope that capitalization, and most forms of grammar thrown by the wayside lately with the advent of texting, does not go extinct. It is frustrating to think of how lax grammar has become in mass society. I hope it is not a permanent dismissal of formal written etiquette.

  245. John Harag -  March 2, 2012 - 9:58 am

    I often neglect to capitalize anything in an instant message or certain emails depending on my mood, and I’ve noticed the trend to drop the capitalized I; I’ve even chosen not to capitalize it in poetry so as to convey an absence of ego. But, I think if we see the colloquial abandonment of the convention, formal writing and literature will inexorably preserve it, since the two are more greatly influenced by all the old rules retained by proper English.

    Though, now that I’m thinking about it, that letter capitalized by itself looks out of place next to its lowercase brethren, almost egomaniacal.

  246. Ferdous Haideri -  March 2, 2012 - 9:41 am

    Not likely!

  247. dr suess -  March 2, 2012 - 9:14 am

    i think ur mom will go extinct

  248. Saptarshi Das -  March 2, 2012 - 8:45 am

    The Times of India, a leading English language daily in India, has already started ‘de-capitalising’ the personal pronoun, writing i for I.

  249. SFDex -  March 2, 2012 - 8:21 am

    If memory serves from my studies of German, all nouns are capitalized in that language, not just proper nouns. I remember being delighted to find this out because being able to simply identify the nouns made comprehension much easier.

    I’d suspect that the first person singular pronoun will continue to be capitalized in formal writing, but casual writing will drop it more and more. Much as one would never use “U” for “you” or “R” for “are” in formal writing, I’d guess it will never become proper to use “i” in the place of “I.”

  250. Morgan W -  March 2, 2012 - 8:21 am

    Ughhgg I can’t go without capitalizing “I” I over use capital Letters.

  251. Paul -  March 2, 2012 - 8:06 am

    Shudders run up and down my spine at the thought of the ninth letter of our alphabet to lose its capitalization when standing as the first person pronoun simply due to the laziness of those sending text messages. This person shall never stoop so low, but, alas, this view seems to be in the minority, and we shall eventually bid adieu to the capitalized personal pronoun. And after a bit of thought and effort, it is extinct, at least in this comment.

  252. Sydney -  March 2, 2012 - 7:23 am

    I think it might, depending on how many people have internet. I, for one capitalize letters, when needed. I don’t see why not. Not capitalizing seems wrong from my point of view, but that’s just me.

  253. Vendetta -  March 2, 2012 - 6:27 am

    “It grew for a silly reason: a single letter looks bad”

    Is this truly the reason? Can you provide any reliable sources?

    I always thought the capital letter “I” was a nice reflection of the more individualistic English culture. Whereas for example in the Spanish language the personal pronoun is often left out showing the more collectivistic nature of Latin cultures.

    It was just a/my theory however but I liked it.

  254. brooklynn -  March 2, 2012 - 6:11 am

    stupid head and dumbotron

  255. Annabel Boon -  March 2, 2012 - 6:09 am

    No way!
    That is what makes english soooo outstanding.
    Something different for a change.
    Nowadays, the lives that we lead are tooo monotonous.
    Time to spice it up!

  256. Eli Richards -  March 2, 2012 - 6:02 am

    Definitely, I don’t even see the point in capitalizing “i” anymore, even in writing, whether it be an essay to my teacher or a personal note to my family. I just don’t care to. :) the only time my i’s are capitalized is when autocorrect corrects me.

  257. Dania -  March 2, 2012 - 5:06 am

    Well, if the letter “I” does go extinct, then there is no mistaking that humans won’t let anything go. Animals or others… ;) That would be easier though… not capitalizing the “i”… poor thing :P ;)

  258. 123ery -  March 2, 2012 - 4:42 am

    No, capitalizing I is something we can’t stop writing. When typing people want to save time, so it’s left miniscule, but when we write we wont stop capitalizing are I’s. :) Plus, there’s always spell-check!

  259. lela -  March 2, 2012 - 4:22 am

    no I dont think so,and I think it looks more beautiful than small one……maybe its not correct…but it is my idea….thanks…it was very interesting

  260. kim -  March 2, 2012 - 4:21 am

    No i don’t think it will ever go extinct – the capital I also represents God,the “I Am”. In this sense, it will remain as a capital, clearly representing God. God is Love, I am Love. God is a Spirit. I am Spirit. God is Life, I am Life. As there is only one God there is only one ‘I’ but many ‘i’s’. I think it will be a natural progression to capitise I when refering to God or refering to man made in his image but lower case when refering to man in the human carnal sense. God says ‘I Am’, if capital i as a personal pronoun lost it’s meaning then it would leave only one ‘I’ and we won’t need to capitalise the Am/AM to show when we are refering to the one Almighty Infinite God, the great I Am. This would certainly be clearer and much simpler – I and my Father are one, i can of myself do nothing, I go to my Father, i am in the depths of hell, i see the light, I am the light, etc.”I AM that I AM” would clearly mean I am that I am – God is that God is or “I will be what I will be”. Though then you would have mankind using I to represent gods many. I figure we will continue to use I or i whenever we feel like it, as a personal pronoun until it ceases as a personal pronoun. That’s food for thought, I think!

  261. Joy Buikema -  March 2, 2012 - 4:14 am

    Personally I believe that it will not be long until we have an entire “new” language based upon abbreviations. It began with abbreviations for Professionals, and Business names, and now texting. Recently I saw a list of abbreviations for texting. A very long list, and many of the abbreviations I was totally unfamilier with. Well, at least it would be better than misspelled words.

  262. ryry -  March 2, 2012 - 4:06 am

    Well, I hope not. This was a very interesting story about the “i”, and I think they made a good switch. I hope it won’t get extinct. But, I even don’t capitalize “i” sometimes.

  263. icehanger -  March 2, 2012 - 3:01 am

    no doubt it will. when we write emails in a hurry, we often neglect capital letters in the beginning of sentences. why would ‘i’ be an exception? and by saying this, i not necessarily refer to English: other languages, like my native Russian or, say, Turkish, are not any better in this respect.

  264. Jeccica -  March 2, 2012 - 12:26 am

    I think nowadays people are lazy to press capitalized I in e-mails and chattings, and this will led to the capitalized I go extinct.
    After all, the language should be accordance with the people’s custom.

  265. Rasmus Bjørn -  March 2, 2012 - 12:22 am

    Danes distinguish between i (lowercase) ‘in’ and I (uppercase) ‘you (pl.)’ – just for the record

  266. Vance Reed -  March 2, 2012 - 12:11 am

    The I will always remain Capitalized. That’s right! as long as we stay selfish, and here in America selfishness is our middle name. The reason most people when they text do not capitalized the I in most cases, is for the sake of speed, or laziness.

  267. I or i -  March 1, 2012 - 11:58 pm

    Very funny! LOL :)

  268. Word Freak -  March 1, 2012 - 11:01 pm

    Hmm…this is rather interesting. I think some thigs won’t change, like the amount of times people will talk about the same thing, or a habit like doodling in a notebook. Some things may be ridiculous, but they live on. I mean, we still use the semi-colon ; right? How is this truly different?

  269. Gaston -  March 1, 2012 - 10:36 pm

    I sure hope that the convention of capitalizing “I” would never go obsolete. It just so fits my taste whenever I do that, for some unknown reason.

  270. sandra -  March 1, 2012 - 10:26 pm

    -i enjoy experimenting with grammar/punctuation in the blogosphere
    -where i ask my audience to read me for content not appearance.

    /good practice for reading people too

  271. L-guy -  March 1, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    wow, how dumb. Not the capitalizing the “i” but now that people are reversing it! really stupid of those people!

  272. I -  March 1, 2012 - 9:50 pm

    NOOOOOO! The capitalized I MUST NOT go extinct!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD DIE!!!!!!!!

  273. Sybell -  March 1, 2012 - 9:03 pm

    If you see how long its stayed, it will take a powerful force to ‘lowercase’ the I.

  274. mitshoo -  March 1, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    My bet is that “I” got capitalized not out of selfishness, but because, as was suggested in the article, it is more aesthetic and more importantly, noticeable to have it capitalized rather than lowercase. Particularly if the capital I has serifs.

  275. Kathleen -  March 1, 2012 - 8:45 pm


  276. megan -  March 1, 2012 - 8:43 pm

    i like this article, i is a wimpy little letter, i found this very interesting

  277. Arman -  March 1, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    A capital ‘I’ shows self esteem.

  278. Dave -  March 1, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    No, because not quite every parent is so sloppy as to short-cut proper capitalization and spelling, setting poor examples for their kids to follow.

  279. darklime -  March 1, 2012 - 7:27 pm

    I don’t believe capitalization will go extinct, although it is deteriorating in personal text messages and IMs today. I think that the grammar being used today is much worse compared to the capitalization issue.

    Anyways, if “I” looked bad as a lonly, little single letter back then, I wonder why they did not capitalize “a” as well.

  280. noopy -  March 1, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    “Look at it: i. How sad.”

    Dictionalry.com made me lagugh today… it’s even kind of cute =)

  281. o -  March 1, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    I just thought that as English speakers we believed we were a cut above the rest!

  282. Alex -  March 1, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    Huh, so that’s why they do that?

  283. billybob -  March 1, 2012 - 7:12 pm

    meow first coment :)

  284. hadley -  March 1, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    no because it looks stupid alone

  285. Marco -  March 1, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    yes because the lack of proper english

  286. Joe -  March 1, 2012 - 6:42 pm

    Nah, probably not, I mean, everyone still does it…

  287. austin -  March 1, 2012 - 6:34 pm


  288. james -  March 1, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    I thought with instant messaging the inconsistent nature of english spelling might be replaced with something more phonetic, i.e. ‘through’ would be spelled ‘thru’ or ‘throo,’ and so on. Hasn’t happened, shows how much I no.

  289. Tobias Mook -  March 1, 2012 - 6:14 pm

    I hope the capitalized ‘I’ becomes extinct. Why does English have all these strange rules?

  290. eli jones -  March 1, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    We are so selfish

  291. fjdkslajflkja -  March 1, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    I never knew that. Noticed how I capitalized the I???

  292. Mamarabbit -  March 1, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Wow what a wonderful article. Learn something new everyday I guess. I love how you wrote it because it was funny. And funny is always more interesting to read. Great Job! :)

  293. joe -  March 1, 2012 - 5:15 pm


  294. Gabriela -  March 1, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    Interesting…ut if u really look at it English is practically the only language that changes just because someone does.

  295. jazzyk -  March 1, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    hehehehe very funy keep it up

  296. alastor -  March 1, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    i can arrange that.

  297. James -  March 1, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    The “I” must never go extinct. I think that is a very good reason to capitalise the I. I for one would be very sad if the poor little bleeder were to regress to being a thin and lonely “i”. What an undistinguished demise that would be.

  298. luke -  March 1, 2012 - 4:09 pm

    no. no i dont

  299. Courtenay -  March 1, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    Excuse me, but “I” and “a” are not the only accepted single-letter words in English. The other one is the interjection “O”, used in formal or poetic contexts as a respectful or emphatic form of address – as in “Hear, O Israel” (from the Bible), or “O mistress mine, where are you roaming?” (from Shakespeare). It’s a fairly old-fashioned usage, but it’s still definitely different from “oh”, the interjection of surprise etc. What’s more (and also unlike “oh”), “O” is virtually always capitalised, just like “I”. Why is that? Does anyone know the history behind this?

  300. Stella -  March 1, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    This is not a very thuro job of an explanation.
    Sorry if that sounds rude!

  301. Tia -  March 1, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    i think so

  302. anonymous -  March 1, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    I don’t think the capitalized I will go extinct. Sure, in instant messaging and social media, it’s easier to use i than to use I. But in formal writing, or anything besides teenagers trying to quickly talk to each other, the capital I is still used. That’s just a silly idea.

  303. asdoufhas[oifgh -  March 1, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    Hmm interesting i’m intrigued

  304. mary torres 4 ever -  March 1, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    im bord

  305. mary torres 4 ever -  March 1, 2012 - 3:19 pm

    people,place or thing

  306. mary torres -  March 1, 2012 - 3:19 pm


  307. Reece Torbert -  March 1, 2012 - 3:19 pm

    Unusual…I like it. I not i

  308. mary torres 4 ever -  March 1, 2012 - 3:18 pm


  309. mary torres so rica -  March 1, 2012 - 3:05 pm

    i hate irish people

  310. mary torres so rica -  March 1, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    who knows me ?

  311. Jacob Claes -  March 1, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    I think some people will use it and some won’t. Depends if you were taught to capitalize.

  312. mary torres so rica -  March 1, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    were all yall at? hellow

  313. mary torres so rica -  March 1, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    person place or thing cake,cake,cake,cake,cake

  314. mary torres so rica -  March 1, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    hi people :)

  315. mark verga -  March 1, 2012 - 2:49 pm

    lol this is great………………………………………………………….k middle up

  316. Emily -  March 1, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    Hmmmmmm I never would have guessed that!

  317. Mackenzie -  March 1, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    OMG first comment!!!!!!

    and yes, ‘i’ do think the capitalized I will go extinct….


  318. Neb -  March 1, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    I think that the I will go extinct because of Facebook and Texting. :)

  319. Phillip Bracha -  March 1, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    No. I always capitalize the word. The simple fact that the word “i” uncapitalized is just weird to me. So “I” capitalize it every time “I” use the word “I”.

  320. Grace -  March 1, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    That is quite interesting! Just plain: i does look weird. My spellcheck/autocorrect even changes it to a capital i. I think that capilatzatin my eventually go extinct for this letter, frankly because when texting: i am txting ; Emailing: i am emailing ; and sometimes when you are lazy, story writing: i am writing. It is hard to imagine, but my penmanship with the upper case I is slowly fading away. Whether or not this changes the whole “engilsh writing race” idea’s of the letter “i” I really don’t know.
    For everyone who is reading this: next time you type something electronic, think of how many times your spellcheck/autocorrect changes your lower case i to upper case. Something to think on.
    By the way, dictionary.com , continue your informational articles. I really enjoy reading the new ones everyday.

  321. Flora -  March 1, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    Wonderful! Continue making interesting things like these. They are very interesting. It was amusing. Even though I liked your essay thing please refrain from e-mailing me unless it is absolutely necessary. :)

  322. Rick -  March 1, 2012 - 2:06 pm

    The capitalized I going extinct.
    This may well depend upon how widespread and ingrained “texting” becomes. When a new generation that has grown up with this type of ”
    English” starts to take over literature publishing of all kinds, then we may see the evolution of the language to remove such cultural artifacts. There is no particular reason for the use of a capitalized “I” other than the character we accept as the “i” is so small and narrow. As the article suggests, capitalization makes it stand out.

  323. BlueMomeRath -  March 1, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    I better not go extinct.

  324. haha -  March 1, 2012 - 1:58 pm


  325. Sreenidhi Tadikonda -  March 1, 2012 - 1:54 pm

    Hi! I think it was a great idea for you to tell the story of “How We Started Capitalizing the Letter I”. I don’t think the capitalizing of “I” would extinct.

  326. ElfenSky -  March 1, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    Hopefully it won’t. I agree with that a small ‘i’ looks bad. I like how the big ‘I’ looksl ike :P And am already so used to it. It’s already automatic for me to press shift before typing ‘I’…

  327. ??? -  March 1, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    Never. We are alwayz teached 2 do that in schooI. It is set into our head, for those of us that payed attention and cared about our grades atleast.

  328. Anon -  March 1, 2012 - 1:13 pm

    Not necessarily… I think “I” will always remain capitalized in the domain of formal writing. The capitalized “I” going extinct is the same as “txt” spelling becoming the accepted standard–not going to happen, at least not for a while.

  329. Erick -  March 1, 2012 - 1:06 pm


    I believe the reason ‘i’ is not being capitalized today is due more to laziness and the need for quick results (and maybe a dash of ignorance too) within the “digital culture”.

    For instance, people now use ‘lol’ (laugh out loud) instead of ‘haha’ when responding to something funny.


  330. ee -  March 1, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    hmmm… interesting

  331. Heather -  March 1, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    The capital I will never go extinct unless English, itself, goes extinct. That’s because we use I in most writing within our school and work lives. Connections, stories and just writing will usually relate to ourselves in some way and getting rid of the I would be considered ridiculous. It’s quite amazing how the I has evolved from what it once was though.

  332. :) -  March 1, 2012 - 12:53 pm

    “English is the only one that selfishly insists on capitalizing the personal pronoun.”

    How is it selfish??

  333. Stefan -  March 1, 2012 - 12:53 pm

    I have wondered that myself, and although poor e-mail/text grammar are pet peeves of mine, i prefer to make it lower case for the ‘selfish’ reasons specified in the article, unless it is something that would reflect poorly on me, such as a professional correspondence. It’s funny, i usually just come here to look up a word, but i always get distracted.

  334. casey doodle mom -  March 1, 2012 - 12:51 pm

    i think using the letter : I is useful. it is mush easier for me to understand. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmioiuioji;swvi;hi;a ghie’a ha; grea; y

  335. Jaz -  March 1, 2012 - 12:37 pm

    I always capitalize my I’s in emails, texts, etc, and so do loads of people I know. See, I’m doing it now :P So it won’t go extinct either, because the world isn’t just texting and emailing people.

    Anyway, interesting article. It’s become so normal I never even wondered why it was like that, actually XD

  336. Jade -  March 1, 2012 - 12:27 pm

    They can’t!!!!!!!!! If they do, they’ll be sorry!!! We must rebel!!!!

  337. Rad -  March 1, 2012 - 12:22 pm

    Nope. Informative article though!

  338. Commentator -  March 1, 2012 - 12:16 pm

    Laziness does not equal extinction, linguistically speaking.

  339. Anonymous -  March 1, 2012 - 11:56 am

    The claim that “Even though it feels natural to English speakers, capitalizing I is unusual. In fact, English is the only language that does” is false.

    Danish does the same thing for its second person plural (you [plural]) pronoun. I, in Danish, means you or you all.

    Although it IS unusual, English ISN’T the only language that does it.

  340. 1413 -  March 1, 2012 - 11:47 am


  341. I -  March 1, 2012 - 11:46 am

    y dont u leave comments?

  342. nikki -  March 1, 2012 - 11:44 am


  343. Amy -  March 1, 2012 - 11:41 am


  344. Reinhold Reitan Ziegler -  March 1, 2012 - 11:33 am


    I doubt if the the personal pronoun I will be minimized. My hope is that primary schools in all english speeking countries are stricter in ensuring that language
    rules are kept to the present standard.

    By the way, being a norwegian national and being taught norwegian “booklanguage”, new-norwegian, old-norwegian and partly danish and swedish
    (part of the corriculumn in secondary school) with close adhesion to local dialects,
    the personel pronouns I, E and AE are very dominant on the western coast of
    Norway, just across the north sea from GB.

  345. Mary Allen Todd -  March 1, 2012 - 11:24 am

    I hope not. It is, as you suggest, more aesthetically pleasing to see it with some heft!

  346. Larry -  March 1, 2012 - 11:23 am

    hey first comment :)

  347. lori B bloustein -  March 1, 2012 - 11:13 am

    fascinating. thanks much for this.

    i, for one, have refused to capitalize the word “i” from the very beginning.
    lucky for me, i attended a VERY alternative high school in Vermont (now, sad to say, defunct) where i was encouraged to EXPRESS myself – even at the expense of common grammar.

    in fact, MUCH to do with case seems rather arbitrary to me so i adopted my own system of using capital letters to STRESS something Important or to create graphic interest whenever the text seems to need it.

    you betcha!
    wouldn’t have myself any other way.

  348. sdfdf -  March 1, 2012 - 11:06 am


  349. sonia -  March 1, 2012 - 11:01 am

    Since our world’s orientation is toward increasing profits at any cost as suppose to quality, it is probable that “mayuscula” I will disappear. It takes less time to type i than I without autocorrect.

  350. van Nunen -  March 1, 2012 - 10:51 am

    What an awesome answer to a mystery I’ve had for ages.
    I am continually troubled with Dutch as there is much less capitalization than English.


  351. Vicaari -  March 1, 2012 - 10:33 am

    Hope not! I never ever use small i when i email to friends.

    Great reading; enjoyed it so much that i have a little present 4 i:

    The little letter i… wanted to be big & tall… so it grew and grew taller from all… I!!!

  352. Alex Meyer -  March 1, 2012 - 10:26 am

    I think it won’t. It might in informal writing, but there’s no way everyone is going to stop in formal writing, as many will be afraid of seeming uneducated. It might, and it’s not too unlikely, but I don’t think it will any time soon.

  353. Peg Tittle -  March 1, 2012 - 10:24 am

    wasn’t concentrating – put someone else’s website url in…link from my name is correct now – it goes to MY (!) website!

  354. Peg Tittle -  March 1, 2012 - 10:21 am

    It should. If we want to be logically consistent. We don’t capitalize any other personal pronoun.

    And to the extent that language influences thought, it might reduce some of the overblown egocentrism that seems to characterize our American/Canadian culture. (I’m surprised we don’t capitalize ‘Me’!)

  355. dejai -  March 1, 2012 - 10:20 am

    yes i do. i often do not capitalize my “I” and i hardly ever have people correct me on this except my english teacher.

  356. tommas -  March 1, 2012 - 10:14 am

    hello im my opinion this is a weird topic…

  357. bob -  March 1, 2012 - 10:11 am

    hello we dont think it will go out of style maybe it might regress in txt and email but in paper it will not …… hello im bob K) Ps forgot to capatilize hehehe

  358. Bonnie -  March 1, 2012 - 10:09 am

    “Do you think the capitalized I will go extinct?” …Ever? Sure. Why not? After all, English is an ever-evolving language, isn’t it?

    And as for having a reason for I’s extinction: Given the speed with which we now communicate, it seems a bit exhausting to have to reach down on a standard keyboard with one’s left pinky (or cross-right with one’s left thumb) to enable the “shift” key, in order to produce a capital version of the letter. Why, just the thought of all that work hurls me into exhaustion!

    P.S. And just why should we English-speakers feel so full of ourselves, that we need to MAXIMIZE ourselves when we represent ourselves in the written word? Come on – did we really think we could ever get lost in the proverbial shuffle??

  359. steve keoster -  March 1, 2012 - 10:06 am

    It is not just proper nouns, but all nouns in German are capitalized.

  360. Roxanne -  March 1, 2012 - 10:02 am

    French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, and others are Romance languages, not Romantic languages as you have above.

    Romance languages are called that ultimately because they derived from a language (Latin) spoken by Romans. A more detailed explanation would involve a discussion of the use of the adjectival terms that have the stem latin- and roman- in classical and later forms of Latin.
    ‘Romantic’ has a slightly different origin; a romance used to be (centuries ago) a story that was written in a romance language rather than a more Germanic one. Typically they had to do with exciting adventures and love affairs. Then people started to use the word to describe situations that are typical of stories about love affairs.
    A modern non-existent equivalent would be English speakers using the word ‘bodice-ripper’ for real-life behavior that matches what goes on in bodice-ripper novels.

  361. Socrates -  March 1, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Outside texting, blogging etc, I believe, I will remain I, as it should.

  362. Rachel -  March 1, 2012 - 9:53 am

    I think good grammar is going extinct, period.

  363. Margot -  March 1, 2012 - 9:45 am

    It goes without saying that all things under the sun (including the sun) will eventually be extinct, but with regards of “I” falling into disuse, I suspect that it will be a very long time in coming. However, I also anticipate that the use of the lower-case version of the pronoun will continue to proliferate. As such, we may see use of “i” versus “I” may falling into respective camps of informal/low and formal/high English grammar. If only Ayn Rand and e. e. cummings were alive today to chime in on this discussion!

  364. Vanessa -  March 1, 2012 - 8:45 am

    It probably will go extinct…in any case, the capital I in most fonts isn’t actually taller than the lowercase i; the lowercase version just happens to have a gap near the top.

  365. Phlondar -  March 1, 2012 - 8:37 am

    Am I the only one posting comments?

  366. Curtis -  March 1, 2012 - 8:35 am

    Capitalized I isn’t going away anytime soon. Egotistical as we are as a society, it’s more likely to be supersized, boldfaced, and highlighted.

  367. Phlondar -  March 1, 2012 - 8:06 am

    I love using Capital “I”

  368. mhood1 -  March 1, 2012 - 8:04 am

    There’s another single-letter word in English: the interjection “O” (a variation of “Oh”). As far as I know, “O” (and “Oh”) are always capitalized.

  369. Phlondar -  March 1, 2012 - 8:00 am

    No, i don’t think so

  370. WHYCAPITALI | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  March 1, 2012 - 7:41 am

    [...] ‘Why Capitali?’ Or is that YI? — With the reflection of a bishop — “I YI YI YI YI” — Everything dies or becomes kerplunk — hysterically remaining — to see what we woulda thunk. — Interpreted not blaming. — The Western individual might always Capital Eyes — There’s too much money in cosmetics and God — With the Bishop’s Angles Size. — Slowly redefining — what’s politically correct — So long as there’s a dollar in it — Whatdya expect? –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]

  371. Niato -  March 1, 2012 - 7:40 am

    Other day’s*

  372. Annie -  March 1, 2012 - 7:30 am

    Will it? It probably will. Should it? Very definitely not. Why? Because these days everyone seems to be taking the lazy to everything. Some say “too much work to upper and lower case words.” Society has come of the age that words are shortened, mispelled and it appears to be acceptable and has spread like wildfire. This is not acceptable. There needs to be standards in grammer, writing and reading. Younger people have enough of a problem spelling and writing as it is what with computer doing all the thinking to compose sentences. If this slids, a lot of other proper structures will start to slid as well. Just my thoughts.

  373. Jûrgen -  March 1, 2012 - 7:29 am

    Es eerc euq al augnel Aselgni se nu amoidi odatnevni y on odaerc, ose yah euq olesrajed a sol “euqsid” sotrepxe euq ne dadilaer acnun nebas adan.

    Ti si dias taht Hsilgni saw ton detaerc, tub detnevni, taht dluohs eb tfel ot eht “os-dellac” strepxe taht ni tcaf reven wonk gnihtyna.

  374. Parker -  March 1, 2012 - 7:29 am

    I will become i only if ego should die.

  375. Niato -  March 1, 2012 - 7:27 am

    Bahaha, I wonder how long it’ll take the site to realize they’re forwarding everyone to yesterday’s blog. XD

    On a side note, interesting post, I’m learning polish and was taught that a great many of their words were adapted from the German language.

  376. Soz -  March 1, 2012 - 7:04 am


  377. Eric -  March 1, 2012 - 6:45 am

    iPad automatically capitalizes I as soon as you hit the space bar….great feature.

  378. J -  March 1, 2012 - 6:41 am

    Sure hope not, our language gets dumber every day because morons are too lazy to get it right. Also, the single “i” does look absurd.

  379. Ole TBoy -  March 1, 2012 - 6:10 am

    No chance that “I” will fade back down to the less emphatic “i.” Far too many young actors can find no more tempting a word to which to give emphasis than the name that designates their own egocentric selves. They live in an “I, me, my, mine,” universe. If evolution is to occur it is more likely that other pronouns will become capitalized than “I” would lose its prominence.

  380. J. T. -  March 1, 2012 - 6:05 am

    Yes and no. Informally I would leave all capitals out, as it just takes a few fractions of a second longer to hold the shift key, but in handwritten correspondence I would probably always retain them. I find myself typing in all-lowercase until I’m done sometimes and then rereading what I wrote to both edit it and capitalize everything. Some people won’t take you seriously if you don’t capitalize. Given my name is composed of initials, I’ll probably always capitalize those :)

  381. Kate -  March 1, 2012 - 5:46 am

    Interesting reason for why the “I” became capitalized. German also capitalizes “Sie” – the polite form for ‘you’, as well as common nouns.

    I doubt the capitalised I will go extinct as ‘i’ would always look silly on it’s own, being such a small and narrow letter. Unless the word for ‘I’ changes…

  382. i see -  February 29, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    The “i” is not capitalized in emails, instant messages and text because it requires an additional stroke-the shift key. In writing however, the lower case “i” required two strokes-one for the line and the other for the dot and thus it was easier to reduce it to one long stroke. Now, we don’t write as much and it is plausible that we may not find the capital “I” convenient with the additional shift key stroke. I don’t think it is a visual improvement since the “I” looks a lot better than the two strokes in “i” which may have resembled fly poop in the past when scrawled too quickly.

  383. JJ in Chula Vista, CA -  February 29, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    Writing purists will contend that capitalization is not on its way out. I think that with every new generation the rules of writing have shifted in various directions, and writing has a tendancy to shift or move in directions that some people will resist… until it becomes the norm.

    I believe that capitalization will continue to be used for REASONS OF EMPHASIS in informal writing, but that formal writing will continue to hold on to the rule for many years to come. In terms of handwriting, there seems to be less and less people who actually utilize handwriting on a day to day basis, and it seems to be easier to type without reaching for the shift keys as often as capitalization rules require it in typed written English. So in this way, anything is possible.

  384. Why should you know? -  February 29, 2012 - 7:13 pm

    First commment.

  385. Annie -  February 29, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Very interesting!
    No, I don’t think so, because an i in a word and an I in my mind are in completely separate leagues. I is an important word in anything, and even if less conventional, it’s one of those traditions that I don’t think English will take off any time soon.

  386. Maddy M. -  February 29, 2012 - 5:31 pm

    it probably will go extinct

  387. mary torres so loved -  February 29, 2012 - 4:54 pm

    heeyyyy who is still in high school? and whos in 10th grade ?
    who is homeschooled with ecot?

  388. mary torres so loved -  February 29, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    person,place or thing :)

  389. Me -  February 29, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    Yes, in French, the first person singular pronoun (je) is not capitalized unless it is the first word of a sentence.
    Je suis intelligent ?
    Est-ce que vous pensez que je suis intelligent ?

  390. Hugh -  February 29, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    I find the ending interesting. It does seem as though English grammar – not just capitalization by itself – is gradually becoming less and less important to those that use it. It’s near common to find someone posting a comment in complete lowercase, creating nonexistent words, and wholly disregarding grammar.

    I digress. It does seem as though English is in a class by itself, seeing how closely related other languages are – and with all the people mangling it, I sometimes wonder if an entire other language will we produced solely from misspellings and indecipherable pronunciation.

  391. Dennis -  February 29, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    I HOPE that the capitalized I goes extinct, but i doubt that it will.

    I’ve been using a lowercase i for probably 20 years, long before i could have “regressed” from emailing or texting. I started to change when i first thought about how arrogant it seemed to place myself above anyone else i might reference with a pronoun. When i realized that only we English-speakers did it, my mind was set.

    Let dieties refer to Themselves with a capital I — i’m fine with a little i, thanks.

  392. Toty -  February 29, 2012 - 3:05 pm

    Hopefully it will,
    i personally am for reviewing all the languages, tweaking them (i.e. grammar) and making them more contemporary… while keeping tabs on the changes.

  393. lezza -  February 29, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    I was also taught to capitalize Mom or Dad when using them as names but not when using them as titles. For example, it’s “my mom” (with the modifier “my”) or “Mom” when it’s without the modifier. I always thought that the “I” was part of that same silly rule.

  394. clivebeesley -  February 29, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    i dont think so..!!

    • Don -  August 20, 2015 - 4:15 am

      So you don’t think?


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