Monday, February 23, 2009


Nothing beats a ROYAL FlUSH, except when it's written that way on the back of a van belonging to sewer and drain cleaning company that writes the name of their company this way. Thanks, John, for sending in this great photo found in Spring Lake, Michigan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The True Administration of Justice ... and Grammar

It was recently pointed out that a famous quote by George Washington, etched in stone above the entranceway to the Supreme Court building in Lower Manhattan, is actually a misquote.
The inscription reads: "The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government."

But the actual quote, in a letter Washington wrote in 1789, uses the word "due" instead of "true."

Some people would like to see the error corrected, despite the huge cost it would involve. This is just one example of a growing trend of the self-appointed "Grammar Cops" taking matters into their own hands, doling out citizen's arrests (please don't start with me about whether it should be citizen's or citizens' — I think it could go either way here) both on and offline.

My friend, the Meir of Midwood, sent me this recent MSNBC article about the online word wars, Fastidious spelling snobs pushed over the edge. Many of my fellow grammar cop websites are mentioned, including one of my favorites, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, which was also recently appointed Entertainment Weekly's Site of the Day. In the article, clinical psychologist Pauline Wallin explains:

An obsession with proper usage may be related to some kind of perfectionist streak, she says, or it could have to do with childhood patterns of wanting to please adults or teachers by doing things right. Putting somebody down by pointing out their bad spelling also could be a power thing. Or it could simply be part of the brain’s natural function.

I'm happy to read that this may be a natural function of my brain. I was beginning to think I was CRAZY to have a blog about lowercase L's improperly used in words otherwise constructed of all uppercase letters.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wet your PAllET

Here's a close-up of the drive-by shot shown above. Carolyn writes:
I drive through the Four Corners section of Woburn, MA on my way to work, and have passed this advertisement for firewood every day this winter. It finally dawned on me this morning that "PAllET" is not a French term of measurement for firewood (I'm firewood illiterate), but a lowercase L infraction! Hooray for cameraphones!

I don't have the guts to CAll the number on the sign to ask about the choice of lowercase L's. Something about naked fire wood that makes me uncomfortable.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Brooklyn Heights is supposedly even more affluent than my own neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. so I am surprised to see such a flagrant example of misplaced lowercase L. Found by Tom and posted to the website of unusual photos, I don't think I'll be getting much PAIN RELIEF or MUSCLES RELAXATION from the enigmatic FOOT REFlEXOLOGY. This one is a mystery to me. It doesn't look like a space saver case, so maybe a sloppy author scribbled "reflexology" with a sole lowercase L, and the sign artist, not familiar with reflexology, interpreted the handwriting exactly as it was written. Nice find! The game is afoot.

Monday, February 09, 2009

WORlD of Warcraft

This may be one of the nerdiest examples of a misused lowercase L I've seen to date ... and that's coming from a guy who runs a blog about lowercase L's improperly used amidst all uppercase letters. Found by Eric R., he writes:
Okay, I realize this isn't an actual SIGN, but I thought it was funny when playing World of Warcraft that someone in dire need of assistance took the time to caps every letter, save the "L" (and the same day I had first come across your site, no less)

You're wrong about one thing, Eric. This is a sign. A sign of terrible things to come. God HElP us all.

Monday, February 02, 2009

On the TABlE

To celebrate the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XLIII, I'm posting this superb lowercase L submitted by Alex, found in Gooski's, a dive bar in Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. "NO" and "ON" are all uppercase while "Drinks" and "The" have capitalized first letters, which, at least, is acceptable at the beginning of sentences. But the author was literally snookered when he came to the TABlE.

Look closely at the iPhone on the table (hey, the sign didn't say anything about no iPhones on the TABlE) ... Bonus points for getting a shot of the lowercase L blogspot website in the photo!