I really should be mad at Sandy right now. But I'm not, really... It's just she put an idea into my head and I haven't been able to get rid of that idea all day! And no one seemed to share my curiosity in why we capitalize 'i'. I is a pronoun, just like he or she or you or they, but it is not grammatically correct to capitalize any of those. Just the i. Why?!
I did some research into the etymology of the word 'i'. Not much, but enough to discover than in old English, the word was 'ich' or 'ic' or some other version of those couple of letters. As the language developed, the consonants were dropped and it became simply i. And for a little while, it wasn't capitalized. However, a couple years after the one letter became standard, people started to capitalize it so it would stand out as a single word and not get lost within a handwritten sentence or whatever.
Okay, ich get that, but if that's the case, why not capitalize 'a'? Because that's a single letter word; doesn't it have to stand out? This then drags the discussion out of grammar and into how people view the world and themselves. Ich could rant forever about how our country's modern world view has placed so much importance on the individual, on the "self." Really, that's the case. Our world is so centered on self-importance we lose track of others.
One example for that is how we've deteriorated in the aspect of who to put first. The general rule is, when listing a group of people, always put yourself last. Like, "Mary, Peggy-Sue, Dave and I went to the grocery store." Ich'm guilty of this as well, but I lot of people will say things like, "Me, Mary, Peggy-Sue and Dave went to the grocery store." If you ignore the improper use of me - a really annoying topic that ich'm not going to address here - that second sentence is still incorrect. It's placing yourself in front of other people; making yourself better. And almost everyone ich know does it.
Ich would like to point out that most of the romantic languages don't capitalize their version of 'i'. Or, at least, that's what a really quick search showed up. Ich know Chinese doesn't. =P. Another very interesting aspect is the capitalization of God. And this capitalization ich very much agree with because it raises Him above us; but if anything, the rule for honoring God and his name has fallen by the wayside while the rules about 'i' have only become more important.
This is one of those times where ich really hate society. And ich really doesn't understand why we should capitalize 'i', when we don't capitalize the other pronouns of the same tense and everything. So ich think ich'm going to start a rebellion; kinda of. In this blog posts, in emails, everywhere ich can without being degraded, ich'm going to try and use ich. Because why should we place ourselves above other people? Why should the self, the individual be the best?
Join the ich rebellion!
NO CAPS! (paraphrased, Edna Mode, The Incredibles)