Today is National Lowercase Day. Or should I say, today is national lowercase day? Either way, I couldn’t find the origin of the day, but I think it is a fun excuse to discuss the use of capital and lowercase letters.
E.E. Cummings was a poet who was known for his refusal (mostly) to use capital letters in his poetry. This style seems to have been a rebellion against the traditions of English grammar. He would also put punctuation in odd places and line breaks in the most unusual spots, mainly because he wanted his poetry to be read out loud and really considered. Here is the first verse of my favorite E. E. Cummings poem, [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
E.E. Cummings, 1920
Read it out loud and you’ll see what I mean.
Another writer who used all lowercase was Don Marquis. Marquis was a newspaper columnist who invented a fictitious cockroach named Archy (or archy) to help him write his six day a week column, Archy was a former free verse poet who talked about life as a cockroach and commented satirically on life during the 1920s and 30s with help from his best friend, Mehitabel, the cat. Being a cockroach, Archy couldn’t jump on two keys at the same time, so he couldn’t type in capitals (although once he jumped on the CAPLOCK and typed an entire column all in capital letters). To see Marquis’ column in which he introduces Archy, you can go to DonMarquis.com
Lastly, I’d like to speak to those people who feel the need to TYPE WITH CAPLOCK ON TO SHOW HOW UPSET THEY ARE. See how hard that was to read? You don’t prove your point y straining other people’s eyes. You can stress your point in a much more readable way by bolding or italicizing those words that you want to stand out the most, See what I mean?
How do you stress your point? Have you ever rebelled against the standards of punctuation and grammar? Please share in the comments below,