Senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was counted on in the past to bring some normalcy to social media accounts, indulging in niceties even when her father was seemingly ranting, but there has been a subtle change in the first daughter’s use of language. At the very least, Ivanka could be counted on for proper capitalization and use of language, even when things seemed to be anything but usual at the Trump White House.
But lately, random capitalizations and the use of all caps are starting to envelop the tweets of Ivanka Trump, says Refinery29. Donald Trump seems to use capitalization for emphasis in a way someone might have previously used bold type.
In October, Trump even announced that he has decided to always capitalize a particular word in his documents.
“When referring to the USA, I will always capitalize the word Country!”
And soon after, Ivanka started capitalizing the word Country (only when it has to do with the US of course), and she has started making random statements followed by unnecessary exclamation points.
“The Economic Agenda is a beautiful thing!”
There was no effort to explain what that meant and what agenda she was referring to, or if this is just another rule in the “Trumpian Style Guide.”
— The Hill (@thehill) November 27, 2018
Those who have worked with and know Ivanka say that everything is deliberate, so what is the new emphasis on capitalization with the Trump family?
Alan Levinovitz, an associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, says that the use of caps in the middle of a sentence is the desire to make certain words matter.
“[The use of capitalization has been] long exploited by faith healers and self-help gurus, common in ‘get-rich-quick’ and quack medicine books desperate to sell readers on the Truth of their claims.”
Dr. Deborah Tannen, linguistics professor at Georgetown University, says that the idea that the Trumps break the rules, even when it comes to grammar, is appealing to some.
“People who like him seem to value that he doesn’t follow rules.”
As for Ivanka’s use of caps and exclamation points, Tannen believes that she has either gotten on board with her father’s style or she has seen it so often that it looks normal and correct to her.
But it’s the choice of the words that the Trumps capitalize for emphasis which is grabbing the attention of language scholars. Donald Trump tends to draw attention to words that fall under nationalism and fear, like Country, Border, Catch, and Detain, and gradually, Ivanka seems to be doing the same.