Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TAllY HAll

Steph found this music venue's marred marquee:
Tally Hall is my sister's and my favorite band, so you can imagine how surprised we were when we arrived at a venue and found that we would be seeing "TAIIY HAII" instead! Poor "FRANK BIACK" also lost his "L"; you can barely make out that the next band listed, "PUNCHLINE", were the lucky ones to receive the venue's apparently only upper-case "L".

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Rudi from Westchester, IL sent this in a while back, I'm finally getting around to posting again. Rudi writes:
I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for about 6 months, and I’ve been on the lookout for lower-case l signs everywhere. I finally found one! Recently, my brother and I were stopped at a light, when I looked over and found this sign saying “ClEAN CLAY ACCEPTED.” We both took cell phone pics- sorry it’s so small- this is the best my phone can do.

This sign is a fascinating example of the lowercase l phenomenon- the l in “ClEAN” is lowercase while the “L” in “CLAY” is capital. This is especially confusing because clean is the first word (the “fitting words into space” theory doesn’t hold- when you’re writing the first word, you always assume more space, or at least I do). The second and more bizarre reason that this sign is an interesting case is that both words begin with the “C-L” consonant blend. Why would you write “C-l” for the first word, and “C-L” for the second? It doesn’t seem to add up.

Finally, this sign is fascinating because of its confusing message- “oh good… they accept clean clay! I don’t want anyone that accepts dirty clay.” And what are they accepting clay for? Is this a roadside pottery class?

I'm glad the photo is so small. This way, the problem doesn't seem so big.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Slow as MOlASSES

The coffee shop I usually go to in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has been closing early during the days after Christmas, so it is a small miracle that I stumbled into The Rabbit Hole, a French inspired café just down the street, where I found this superb example of improperly used lowercase L's. The PUMKIN MOlASSES MUFFIN WITH WAlNUTS looks like a tasty treat, but I've been turned off to this savory snack because it reads like "Moi Asses", which could imply the muffins came from some French baker's derrière. And what if I had an allergy to walnuts and ended up in the hospital because I was misled by the unfamiliar non-allergenic "wainuts"?

I asked the barista about the sign, and he could only explain away the misspelled PUMPKIN, blaming it on the poor English of the Frenchman who might have printed the labels with the P-Touch. But I see this as a second-hand error, a literal interpretation in mechanical print that resulted from a horribly handwritten list, where the L's looked like uppercase i's. But why have the staff never bothered to correct these embarrassing blunders?

Curiouser and curiouser!


Appropriately found by Holly in Roseburg, Oregon, this handwritten ad for DOUGlAS firs is the perfect gift for lowercase L watchers on Christmas Day.


Friday, December 05, 2008

A BlT Confusing

When I spotted this sign on the menu board in front of the Greek diner on 7th Avenue here in Park Slope, Brooklyn, I was fixated on the PlATES theme, coming off a NO PlATES high and onto SAlAD PlATES this week. And the fact that the lowercase L's sport an unusually low profile, ducking below the A's apex in SAlAD, makes the situation even more confusing.

But it wasn't until writing this post that the real hidden danger of this Trojan horse was revealed: the elusive BlT in CHICKEN BlT ClUB and TURKeY BlT WRAP. Look closely, that's actually a BLT, short for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, but I reasonably thought this Greek diner was offering me a chicken bit club sandwich. I mean, they have bacon bits, and chickens have giblets and nuggets and other frying bits, so I didn't think twice about it. It's all Greek to me, really.

And the NOODle is an example of the cascading lowercase L, where people tend to lower the case all the letters following the lowercase L after all uppercase letters. With so many lowercase L inconsistencies on this menu board, the author clearly bit off more than he could chew.