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.

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