Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Cascade Effect

The lowercase L phenomenon is puzzling enough, but there is an even stranger subset of lowercase L behavior that magnifies the mystery. I call it the Cascade Effect — this is when words are written in all uppercase letters, until the author hits an L and makes it lowercase, as well as all of the following letters in that word. In most lowercase L events, the writer then inexplicably switches back to uppercase letters immediately, but when the Cascade takes effect place, it's like there is no lowercase shutoff valve. Such is the case with CAlmly, above, submitted by Caitlin M.

And with these EARliglow strawberries.

Even this AMERICAN SOldIER had a momentary cascade, and then quickly recouped after letting the lowercase L and D trickle in.

I suspect that there is something about the L that triggers an instinct to start writing in lower case, and this cascade effect is more evidence of an invisible killer in the literary fields.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


lowercase L contributor Wendy Wong, whose international travels brought us the SAlTY BAR and MOVIE WORlD, goes domestic with this San Francisco lOVE letter, found on Passive Aggressive Notes. Apparently this note was left after a jilting third date, so no further explanation is necessary for the inconsistent upper and lowercase letters — blinded by lovesickness.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cafetorium ClOSED

Dashon B. speaks of this find:
This gem was found in Northhampton, MA, and even though there are many ClOSED signs floating around, this one is unique, as they caught them young (it's at an elementary school), and the word Cafetorium is completely awesome also.

I have to admit, I thought this CAFETORIUM was a bastardized spelling of CAFETERIA, until I read that it is actually a room doubling as both a cafeteria and an auditorium. Though, based on the ClOSED sign below, it could actually read CAFETORLUM, and we'd never know.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Putting the FUN in FUNERAl

Back in February, Jessica reported from Downtown Annapolis, Maryland in the Eastport area, where she spotted this FUNERAl parking notice. While many of the letters may be lowercase, the lowercase L is certainly confusing. The funeral was reportedly for the uppercase L, may it rest in peace.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It's got a lot of glare, but click to zoom in and you'll see what caught Jeremy D's eye at this Chinese market in Springfield, Oregon. It's enough to make you want to forget to eat your VEGETABlES.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Will We Ever lEARN?

Abigail G. was confused by this preposterous Post-It note on the National Civic Summit website ... and rightfully so! At first she thought the L in lEARN, CONNECT, ENGAGE was a misplaced exclamation mark to emphasize the word EARN. This lowercase L is worth more investigation. As Abigail pointed out, there was clearly room for an uppercase L, so lack of real estate was not the issue. I may have to follow up with the webmaster for this site, so if you come back to years from now and the problem has been fixed, you'll know they lEARNED their lesson.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This rarely, if ever, happens: a lowercase L juxtaposed with an uppercase L in the same otherwise all uppercase word. Tristan found this terrific Thailand treat online at FuCK YeAH BangkOK, a blog with a name written with alternating upper and lowercase letters — ironically, like someone with dysgraphia might write it. This ERAWAN WATERFAlL, found in Erawan National Park in western Thailand, is named for Erawan, the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. But even godliness could not save the sign writer from this epic FAIL.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Kerry M from Brookfield, Illinois (yes, the word Illinois may look like a bad batch of lowercase L's when written in a sans-serif font, but it's actually legit) spotted this caffeinated case in a local Starbucks Coffee. The PIKE PlACE ROAST may be medium and smooth, but the way it's written is rough and hard to swallow.

Related: Half Off SAlE

Friday, July 10, 2009

Office 2010

"Intelligence has confirmed a hacker has released a rogue font on the Internet ... We need to identify this threat and eliminate it."

I wonder if this rogue font is all uppercase letters ... except for the L?

"All the world's fonts are at stake ... Double-space, widen the margins, increase the font size!"

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Annoyed with ARNOlD

VJ of Berlin found this clip on German daily news service,, in which picketers in California are protesting Governor Schwarzenegger and his budget cuts. The sign reads "No more furloughs, NO MORE ARNOlD!" I don't think this was a crunch case, since the author had plenty of room for his oversized exclamation point.

I can just imagine what the Governator would say if he saw his name written like this ...

"L be back!"

Saturday, July 04, 2009


HARlEM lowercase L contributor PES found these RED MElON SEEDS. I'm sure that, like any sane person, he didn't eat them. Instead, he probably incorporated them into a stop motion animation:

Happy 4th of July!