Saturday, March 28, 2009

The ITAlIAN STAllION is back!

Was that Rocky II we saw in 1979, or could it have been Rocky LL? And might Rocky actually have had the lowercase L of the Tiger? Of course it was Rocky "2", as in the sequel to the 1976 film, Rocky, and he naturally had the Eye of the Tiger. But I have my doubts, now that Gary C. pointed out this amazing scene in which Rocky Balboa struggles with cue cards while shooting a commercial for Beast Aftershave.

In this humiliating scene, our beleaguered hero has great difficulty reading the simple lines, and claims in defiance that he is not "punchy", but merely has what you call a "relaxed brain". Having witnessed the brutal, repeated beatings that Apollo Creed previously unleashed on Rocky, we suspect this "relaxed brain" syndrome is more like brain damage. But after reading the "dummy boards" myself, I actually believe Rocky! When the cue card is revealed to us, we can finally see why he's having such difficulty reading his lines: "IN THE MORNING .. I SPLASH IT ON AN' IT DOES SMELL MANlY ...." That would cause me pause, too. Look closely, and you'll notice that not only is MANlY spelled with a lowercase L, but it is also in a different handwriting style than the rest of the cue card, and seems to be written on a corrective paper sheet overlay. Makes me wonder what horrific error the prop master was trying to cover up in the first place, if this new one was so much more acceptable.

Watch the Rocky II Beast Aftershave scene on YouTube in all it's lowercase L glory!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A little HElP here?

Sure, not all the letters are uppercase, but the L in HElP is written small enough that, at the same height as the adjacent lowercase e, it looks like an i. Ruatara found this article, Sculptor turns to PM for HElP, on The Dominion Post, a New Zealand publication. Carl Gifford may be a sculptor, but it looks like he chiseled too much away from the L here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Gary found this photo of the Fitzroy Adventure Playground, Atherton Gardens Estate, taken in Australia by Mario Cotela in 1980. Written on a scrap of aluminum siding, BlESS THIS HOUSE might not do the trick, considering its apparent state of dilapidation, and the safety risk it might pose to children. Still, I wonder why the author chose to indent the word BlESS. If he hadn't, he probably could have fit the uppercase L in there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Dan got all choked up when he came across this KIElBASA:
It's the daily special sign in front of the restaurant in the lobby of the building I work in. Since I found your site, I'v been checking it daily with my fingers crossed; I guess it finally paid off. Hopefully the culprit will strike again.

Sure, the K is capital, so one might expect the L to be lowercase, but this special is still a hard one to swallow.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Andrew Neesly snapped this photo on a Verizon sign at Yankees Stadium, and was just as curious as I am about the choice to use lowercase L's for CALL and uppercase for BULLPEN.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Chris writes in from NZ:
I found this sign outside a bar in AUCKlAND, NEW ZEAlAND. Hopefully this is your first example of a Kiwi lowercase L!
The All BlACKS won, so we might not be able to write properly but at least we produce good rugby players. As it happens the Warriors won too. Unfortunately I've got no idea who Dean Te Paa is so I can't tell you whether or not he won.

Are you sure that isn't the Warrlors, Chris?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AlSO confusing

Andy writes in from Bear, Delaware:
When I first saw the lower case l blog I was impressed by the collection, but still had doubts about the common mis-usage of capitalization. Just a few days later, I found a perfect example on the Stewart's Brewing Company specials board. Needless to say, the lower case Ls ruined my meal.

The L's in All aren't all that bad, but the AlSO FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS reads like Audio Stream Input/Output food, something you might find on the menu at the Audio Engineering Society Convention.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Jai Ho! Nancy found this sign for E-MAIl in Chennai, India. Yet another reason to never go to India after seeing Slumdog Millionaire.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Car 4 SAlE

Times are tough, and people are resorting to selling their worldly possessions just to get by. Allison A. spotted this one in Washington DC, where apparently times are so tough, the car owner was forced to substitute the number 4 for FOR, and went with the lowercase L instead of the uppercase, in a futile attempt to save window space and paint, resulting in the ultra-compact "4 SAlE" sign. But I'm not buying it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not to make lIGHT of tragedy, but ...

You've probably read about the shootings that happened in Sampson, Alabama, earlier this week. The caption below this photo on CNN reads
This sign in Samson, Alabama, expresses the thoughts of townspeople stunned after the shooting spree.

Stunned, indeed. I wonder how the fellow who constructed this sign felt when he realized he ran out of uppercase L's, and had to resort to using an uppercase i as a poor substitute for such a somber message. Or maybe it's a number one, which would make the LOST lOVED ONES even more ironic. Oddly, the L and O in lOVED are a different cut from the rest of the letters on the board. Maybe they were hand drawn onto the sign? That would be even less excusable, if the guy writing the sign had a style choice. And the red O doesn't help, either.

Sadly, this is not the first case of lowercase L adding insult to tragedy. I extend my heartfelt sympathy for all who have been hurt by the misuse of lowercase L's.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In a WORlD ...

(Said with an imposing movie voiceover tone) "In a world ... where uppercase letters rule ... one letter stood out. It was ... the lowercase L".

Found overseas by contributor Wendy Wong, whose travels brought us a previous SAlTY find in WAlES, this Shanghai DVD store is officially busted, and it isn't for pirating movies. Movie Star may be "EVEN BETTER THAN MOVIE WORlD" in movie selection, but not in signage. Wendy writes:

I try not to pick on foreign examples, but I'm living in Shanghai, and I think this one's pretty good. Otherwise spelled correctly, and everything! Interesting to note is that there is no lower case in this lovely '90s font, so it actually is an uppercase I.

You may be interested to know that the pirated-DVD store formerly known as 'MOVIE WORID' is just across the road. It's now called 'Big Movie'.

Wendy has a point about the foreign language aspect of lowercase L sightings. This lowercase L, which actually seems to be an uppercase i, could be a case of Engrish, and may have something to do with the lack of an L sound in some southern dialects of China.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Buddy and fellow blogger Paul Berger has been plagued, living in the shadow of my lowercase L success, continually having his submissions to the site rejected for one technicality or another. But after years of frustration, the Englishman in New York finally ClOSED the deal with this photo, found in Manhattan on Broadway between Canal and Houston.

Nicely done, Paul! Certainly better than this other one you sent:

I appreciate Paul's blind enthusiasm.

Keep them coming!