Because we do

I have the dictionary.com app on my iPad. I have a few dictionary apps loaded, but that’s the one I decided to use today to look up a word. While I was in there, I noted that I had five new messages in the dictionary.com app. Curious, I selected the link that took me to these messages.

Contrary to the way they are presented, which I suspect is no mistake, they are not personal messages. Rather, they are links to the mobile version of the dictionary.com blog.

The first link took me by surprise because of its simplicity:

Why do we capitalize the first-person pronoun, I?

Simple question, yet an absolute showstopper. My first answer is the same as the first sentence in the message:

The short answer is because we do.

They go on to say that although it feels natural for English-speakers to capitalize ‘I,’ English is the only language in which this is standard practice. The non-mobile version of the post goes into more detail, but the answer is pretty much the same.

Because we do.

I bet much of E. E. Cummings isn’t the same in translation.

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