William Levin has a peeve, and it is this: Sometimes, when people create handwritten signs, they choose to capitalize every letter except the letter "L." It bugged him as a child, when he saw a sign for a "YARD SAlE." It bugged him as a college freshman, when his dorm mates made T-shirts advertising themselves as residents of "STONE HAll." It bugged him as an adult, and he decided to blog about it.
"When I started the lowercase L blog in 2005, I just wanted to find out if there were other people out there who were aware of, and bothered by, this strange phenomenon," says Levin, a cartoon animator and computer consultant in New York. "Now that the blog has a following, and it is clear that the lowercase L threat is recognized worldwide, I hope to spread awareness by sharing examples and providing a platform for a community of likeminded nitpickers to vent their frustration."
The blog comprises more than a hundred photos of offensive signs - an ad for a "GUITAR PlAYER," a box containing "OlD UPS" batteries, a workout calendar featuring "PILATES STEP 'N' SCUlPT," etc. - along with commentary explaining why they are offensive. It's a weird phenomenon, Levin maintains, and a confusing one.
"Unlike spelling or grammar errors, which can be dismissed as a result of carelessness or lack of education, the poor style choice of using lowercase L's within otherwise entirely uppercase words has no reasonable or logical explanation," says Levin. "In fact, using a lowercase L amid all uppercase letters is such an acute, specific offense that it almost seems deliberate. Why isolate a single letter [L] and make it lowercase, especially when it is the only letter that, when written in lowercase form and adjacent to all uppercase letters, can be confused for another uppercase letter [I]?"
Clearly, it's a subject that gets Levin all HOT UNDER THE COllAR.