Friday, July 29, 2005


I thought I had tapped every case of lowercase L in Park Slope, since I spend so much time in my neighborhood. But, while walking down 7th Avenue with some friends, heading to Yamato for sushi, this new sign in the door caught my eye. Sure enough, we've got lowercase L in ONlY! (lower right corner of the sign). Interestingly, the writer also uses lowercase "i" in other words, which takes some of the edge off the lowercase L in the end.

Since I thought I had combed this town of all its lowercase L's, I didn't take my camera with me when I left this evening. The sign was obviously a temporary post for the Private Shoe Party going on that night, so I knew I had to act fast. After we were seated for dinner at Yamato, I ran home to get my camera, back to the sign to snap the photo, and back to join my friends at the restaurant, just in time for the appetizers. Good thing I ran, too, because when I walked by the store again after dinner, the sign was gone.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hello, my name is WIllIAM

Believe it or not, hunting for lowercase L's is not all I do. By trade I am also a computer consultant in NYC. Today as I fixed a client's Macintosh, I noticed that he had pulled my index card from his Rolodex and taped it to his computer for easy reference. Imagine my delight when I saw that he had written my name in perfect lowercase L form! What makes this case extra special--besides the fact that it is my name--is that we've got double lowercase L's flanked by two uppercase i's! You couldn't ask for a better example than that. I do find my client's use of lowercase L's puzzling, because he obviously is not averse to using uppercase L's, as he did when writing my last name.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

speciaL Opposite Day!

While the focus of this blog is lowercase L's amidst all uppercase words, I couldn't resist posting the Bizarro World case, featuring uppercase L's in all lowercase words! Discovered on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, this restaurant's menu board proudly offers "saLmon", "speciaL", "scaLLion", and "thinLy sLiced" for your uppercase paLate.

While just as rare an occurrence, the use of uppercase L's within lowercase words actually makes more sense than the opposite, because an uppercase L cannot be confused with any other letter in a lowercase environment.

Now, help me find more lowercase L's!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Do we have a near-perfect lowercase L sighting? This window display found at Jackrabbit on 7th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn is composed almost entirely of uppercase letters, and of course, the qualifying lowercase "L" in TRIATHlON. But is it really a lowercase L? Or is it actually an uppercase "I"? I have found that "triathlon" is sometimes mispronounced and misspelled as "triathion". Or, is "Triathion" the title of a specific triathlon event? Both the "i" in "TRI" and "L" in "ATHlON" are the same size and are shaded identically, so I have my doubts.

Also note both a lower and uppercase "i" in the same word, TRAiNING. This could be a result of the author simply forgetting to dot the second "i". But I digress.

THe FloRIST Shoppe

I had to include this lowercase L sighting, even if it is a borderline case. The sign is actually on the floor inside a vacant storefront on 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, having fallen off the window. The sign has a mix of upper and lowercase, so it is not the most impressive example. Still, FloRIST does consist primarily of uppercase letters, and the Dorito chip makes it a zesty find.

Monday, July 04, 2005


I like this Park Slope, Brooklyn posting found in Key Foods on 7th Ave. because the author uses an interesting combination of upper and lowercase L's, and lowercase i's. The logic behind the lettering style is clear: uppercase L for the first letter of a word, (e.g. LARGE, with exception of lOTS), lowercase L for succeeding letters in a word, (e.g. SlOPE, FEMAlE), and the stylish twist of using only lowercase i's (LiBRARY, AVAilABLE). There is some method to the madness here, since the lowercase i negates any confusion that could have resulted by mixing uppercase i with lowercase L. But why use lowercase L in the first place? I suppose someone could call the author and ask ...


Ah, a nice example of lowercase L graffiti. Found on 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, this would have been a flawless specimen if the letter Y was capitalized. The absense of vowels in BRKlyN RMNTC makes this Brooklyn Romantic's handiwork even more appealing.

Does not qualify

Here is an example of a sign with uppercase letters and lowercase L's that does not qualify as a proper lowercase L sighting. While the word "AvAilAble" was written with a jumble of upper and lowercase letters, the L being lowercase, the majority of letters are not uppercase, and the letter L's are next to other lowercase letters. The author of this sign, found on Rivington Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, had more of penchant for uppercase A than lowercase L.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Here is a perfect example of a typical lowercase L sighting. I found this sign today in Brooklyn, outside a poster store on Union St. Apparently they are trying to get rid of ALL their postcards, so why go easy with the L's when writing "TAKE THEM All? I guess they're ONlY human.


Please submit your lowercase L sighting photo URLs or attached JPEGs with commentary, location and desired credits (your name as you'd like it to appear, and website if you have one) to

Legal: By submitting information to lowercase L, you grant lowercase L a perpetual, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, distribute, and otherwise exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to that information at its sole discretion, including storing it on lowercase L servers and incorporating it in other works in any media now known or later developed including without limitation published books.

The criteria for a good lowercase L sighting are simple, though these rules may evolve over time.

First, do not fabricate your own lowercase L signage just to photograph for this blog. Please only submit genuine lowercase L sightings.

The basic qualifier for a lowercase L sighting is a sign containing at least one word consisting of mostly uppercase letters and at least one lowercase L.

Note, the entire sign does not need to be written with all uppercase letters, nor do all the L's need to be lowercase. But the more uppercase letters and the more lowercase L's, the better.

Lowercase L cases are not limited to handwritten signs. Graffiti, printed ads, personal notes and letters also qualify.

HaCkEr \_337 SpEaK does not count.

More rules as I think of them.


This post has been moved to the permanent page: What the L?


If you are confused by the subject of this blog, don't worry, I am too. The case of the lowercase L has been a mystery to me for many years, and it continues to baffle me even as I investigate this unusual phenomenon.

The gist of lowercase L is this: I have noticed that, when people create handwritten signs, they sometimes choose to capitalize every letter except the letter "L". I can understand using some lowercase letters like "i" and "y", to stylize the handwriting. But why confuse matters by using the only letter that, when lowercase, is identical to an uppercase "I"?

At first I thought this unusual writing habit was an anomaly. Growing up in rural south New Jersey, when I'd see handwritten yard sale posts that read "FOR SAlE", I figured it was just a slip of the magic marker. And as a college freshman, while it irked me that my fellow dorm mates produced tee-shirts that read "STONE HAll", I didn't give it much thought.

But now, having lived in NYC for ten years, I have seen the lowercase L rubbing shoulders with uppercase company more often than you might imagine. So often, in fact, that I wanted to bring the case of the lowercase L to the attention of the public.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for people to submit their photos of lowercase L sightings, and to discuss the psychology of the lowercase L offender. And if you are one of those people guilty of writing all-caps signs with lowercase L's, we welcome and look forward to understanding your unique perspective in this matter.

Thank you all ... NOW LET'S BlOG!