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Old 02-13-2020, 12:38 AM
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Equivalent of all caps in other written languages


In English, Spanish, or other languages using this alphabet, one can hammer one's point by writing in all caps, LIKE THIS. Written shouting.

But in other language scripts like Arabic, Thai or Korean, what is their written version of all caps? How do they particularly put anger or stress on a particular word or sentence?
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:05 AM
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Japanese uses Chinese influenced characters and Hiragana (syllabic alphabet) in most writing, with foreign or emphasized words are often written in Katakana, a separate syllabic alphabet.

In Korean, we can emphasize using bold letters, although mostly you emphasize by changing word order. Older text uses dots above the syllable blocks. However I haven't seen this used in a long time even in handwritten text, and have no idea how to do it in a word processor.

Last edited by pakputeh; 02-13-2020 at 01:06 AM. Reason: additional thought
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:02 AM
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Hungarian is based on the Roman alphabet and so all-caps can be used for emphasis.

Even so, on old typewritten documents, to stress a certain word, they used to put spaces between the letters, like

t h i s.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sudan View Post
Hungarian is based on the Roman alphabet and so all-caps can be used for emphasis.

Even so, on old typewritten documents, to stress a certain word, they used to put spaces between the letters, like

t h i s.
I don't think the practice originated with typewritten documents; increased letterspacing was widely used for emphasis in properly typeset documents. German used to do this as well—it used to be written in Fraktur, where boldface and italic fonts don't exist at all and all-caps is too illegible. Nowadays emphasis in German is almost always done as in English (bold, italics, or all-caps), though I still see the occasional document using increased letterspacing.

Last edited by psychonaut; 02-13-2020 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:30 AM
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In Arabic they use the exclamation point and sometimes double the terminal vowel. “You never listen to meeee!”
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
I don't think the practice originated with typewritten documents; increased letter spacing was widely used for emphasis in properly typeset documents. German used to do this as well—it used to be written in Fraktur, where boldface and italic fonts don't exist at all and all-caps is too illegible. Nowadays emphasis in German is almost always done as in English (bold, italics, or all-caps), though I still see the occasional document using increased letterspacing.
Increased letter spacing is also used in Hebrew, which has no capital letters.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pakputeh View Post
Japanese uses Chinese influenced characters and Hiragana (syllabic alphabet) in most writing, with foreign or emphasized words are often written in Katakana, a separate syllabic alphabet.
Not sure how this answers OP's question but there is no all caps equivalent in Japanese writing. You can add emphasis points above each character to emphasize a word or phrase but it doesn't denote shouting or anger.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
Not sure how this answers OP's question but there is no all caps equivalent in Japanese writing. You can add emphasis points above each character to emphasize a word or phrase but it doesn't denote shouting or anger.
Right which is why I didn't say it denotes shouting or anger.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:23 AM
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There's also the practice of inserting a period after every. single. word. Probably originated in the telegraph where you had nothing but the 26 letters (not even upper/lower case) and a separator symbol.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:22 AM
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Thai has two orthographic devices that can be used to give emphasis:
(a) The duplication marker (ๆ), which repeats the previous word. For example
รักมาก /rak maak/ = 'love much'
can become
รักมากๆๆๆๆๆๆ /rak maak maak maak maak maak maak maak/ = 'love much much much much much much much'
(b) tones used for emphasis can be rendered in writing, for examples
รักมากม๊าก, รักม๊ากมาก
are /rak maak maak/ ('love much much') but with an emphatic tone indicated for the 2nd and 1st /maak/ respectively.

Here's a Youtube with the title รักมากม๊าก. (Somebody's going to miss their girlfriend.) Despite the title, she's actually emphasizing the 1st /maak/, so saying ม๊ากมาก.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:38 AM
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Arabic uses a wide variety of fonts. They can be formal, traditional, whimsical, modern, with many different moods expressed just like in English fonts (I don't know what would be the Arabic equivalent of Comic Sans). Arabic only has one form which is a handwritten style where the letters are (mostly) joined, similar to cursive in English (no printed letters as in English), but they still use a lot of variety in how it's written.

I don't read Arabic so I'm not sure precisely how they would express the tone asked about in the OP but certainly larger letters and bolder fonts are available for a variety of effects.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kk fusion View Post
There's also the practice of inserting a period after every. single. word. Probably originated in the telegraph where you had nothing but the 26 letters (not even upper/lower case) and a separator symbol.
That's occasionally seen in Korean computer typing, a period after each letter block or phoneme (a word often consists of more than one), as opposed to a dot over each block which was mentioned as an older hand written way of doing it.

But basically all non alphabet writing systems I'm aware of don't have different shaped, not just different size, upper/lower case symbols like the Latin, Cyrillic and some other alphabets. The Korean alphabet doesn't have them either. Thus, simple expediences to mimic use of capitals for emphasis in handwriting or on a typewriter like periods, brackets etc might give way to more expressive graphic methods on a computer (font style, size, bold, color etc), besides non graphic methods of emphasis. Which is also true in the Latin alphabet, where typing in all caps isn't generally well regarded as a writing device nowadays.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
In English, Spanish, or other languages using this alphabet, one can hammer one's point by writing in all caps, LIKE THIS. Written shouting.
Side question: Did people do this before computers? In handwritten, printed, or typed documents, stress or strong emotion could be indicated by underlining, italics, or boldface, but for quite a while all of those were unavailable in many computer-related contexts, so ALL CAPS was sometimes used instead.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Side question: Did people do this before computers? In handwritten, printed, or typed documents, stress or strong emotion could be indicated by underlining, italics, or boldface, but for quite a while all of those were unavailable in many computer-related contexts, so ALL CAPS was sometimes used instead.
Edgar Allan Poe was fond of stylistic variety, and a few seconds of leafing though his Complete Works turned this up. See "GALLOWS" about 2/3 of the way down the page. (The same sentence contains some other capitalized nouns, also for emphasis — perhaps he went All-Caps on "GALLOWS" to distinguish two types of emphais here.)
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Side question: Did people do this before computers? In handwritten, printed, or typed documents, stress or strong emotion could be indicated by underlining, italics, or boldface, but for quite a while all of those were unavailable in many computer-related contexts, so ALL CAPS was sometimes used instead.
Yes, people definitely did this with typewriters, possibly in imitation of typeset smallcaps, which are also sometimes used for emphasis.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:46 PM
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The typewriter was invented in 1867. E.A. Poe died in 1849.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kk fusion View Post
There's also the practice of inserting a period after every. single. word. Probably originated in the telegraph where you had nothing but the 26 letters (not even upper/lower case) and a separator symbol.
I'm not familiar enough with telegrams, which may be what you meant, but Morse code based telegraphy had (has, hams still use it) numerals 0-9, basic punctuation, and numerous procedural symbols (end of message, mistake, your turn to transmit, etc.) This applies to both American and International Morse codes. You are correct that there was never an upper/lower case distinction. This also applied to early teletype/telex systems, which used a 5 bit Baudot code, but two of the possible 32 combinations were used to shift between letters and figures (numerals, punctuation, bell) and back, yielding 60 possible symbols.
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Last edited by Kevbo; 02-16-2020 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:49 AM
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[off-topic]
It wasn't too very long ago that if you logged into some computers using an all-caps user-name, the O.S. assumed that your terminal could not produce lower-case letters, and converted ALL your input from then on to lower-case. (There was some escape mechanism to enter actual upper-case.)

I'm not sure any OSes still do that in 2020.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
[off-topic]
It wasn't too very long ago that if you logged into some computers using an all-caps user-name, the O.S. assumed that your terminal could not produce lower-case letters, and converted ALL your input from then on to lower-case. (There was some escape mechanism to enter actual upper-case.)

I'm not sure any OSes still do that in 2020.
Which is why I am "ftg" here instead of "FtG", my proper user name.

The department tech staff at one place were so nice they inserted a special test in to their Vax 11/750 login code to check to see if the user name was "FtG" and not go into all-upper-case terminal mode. But others couldn't be bothered so I generally went with "ftg" to avoid problems. Something I didn't really think about when I signed up here. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Last edited by ftg; 02-16-2020 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:21 PM
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It's worth noting that _all_ graphical alterations, like underscore here dating from typewriterese for italic font for a distinction of some sort--have technological as well as conceptual stages (the two naturally go together, if at times with difficult coordination when radically new ones appear). Barring Roman notarial shorthand, "all caps" was all we had in the Latin alphabet for a good long time.

Deliberate changes of orthography and graphic practice _within_ an overarching sript--different than the historically significant turning point when Uncial script ("all caps") was gradually being replaced by versions of Carolingian Miniscule--came in the first centuries of the Common Era.

But consider: even before the disappearance of Uncial script came the novel use of spaces between words, larger linear spacing between lines, and the presence of previously superfluous and wasteful margins--all meta-scriptual changes which could be and were exploited.

Getting closer now to OP. Somewhat later (evidence is scanty) discrete orthographic elements (new graphemes) apparently were first introduced sporadically in early Christian writings to differentiate the word "Christ." Slightly later, perhaps, first appeared non-literal meta-textual graphics that "pointed out" (sometimes literally) text--a whole bestiary of signs including paired points and the familiar asterisk.

Originally used mainly mainly to mark words which were a direct transcription of Biblical text, they then were used to mark words worthy of note somehow, or, much later in the early Middle Ages, as a URL to marginal glosses as we know them. The graphical means to differentiate meaning, including "emphasis" viewed broadly -- "shouting" -- were often idiosyncratic to a small literate community.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 02-16-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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