Why is this such a huge deal for people? I doubt that java people get riled up when people call it JAVA. Putting a word in all caps needn't imply an acronym, it can be there just for emphasis...
Because it's a clue indicator. If you spell it as "PERL", you're not plugged in to the community. Consider it a secret handshake.
In particular, it also means they haven't read perlfaq1, and probably don't even know the FAQ exists, which probably means they don't know all (or even some of) the resources available in the Perl community.
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