all lowercase letters

"capital letters are just one of society's conventions that I choose to ignore. you've just been programmed to be one of society. you're a sheep."
theimprobableone on john watson's blog, sherlock

a stylistic choice in which all text is in lowercase letters. it can be thought of as the opposite of writing in all caps when emphasizing a point, in which case it can be used to give a melancholic feel to whatever you're writing. it is not generally thought of as orthographically correct, giving it (if only in the eyes of advertisers) a casual, hip feel. also used in a visual narrative sense to indicate childishness or, in some cases, idiocy.

can also occur in internet forums monitored by censorship daemons programmed to demote all-caps entries, since all-lower-case text is much easier on the eyes than no-lower-case.

see also no punctuation period and no indoor voice. contrast caps lock.


examples:

    open/close all folders 

    advertising 
  • "i'm lovin' it." actually, all mcdonald's' advertising since the switch to this slogan.
  • vitamin water labels.

    arts 
  • in addition to his more well known logo-like signature, norman rockwell occasionally signed his paintings in all lowercase cursive.

    fan works 
  • the title of legolas by laura.
  • downplayed in the original version of calvin and hobbes: the movie: chapter 7 and onwards have a pretty bad deal with capitalization.
  • there seems to be a minor—but growing—trend in fanfiction to have the story's title written entirely in lowercase, while the story itself uses correct capitalizations (though stories written in all lowercase is not unheard of). for some reason, these stories tend to be well-written, full of shipping and particularly angsty.
  • garfieldodie's name.
  • the title of a million miles of fun.

    film 

    let's play 
  • slowbeef's name.
  • both pokecapn and medibot type their names like this. pokecapn also uses it for his youtube video descriptions and comments, though his something awful posts aren't like this.
  • raocow. besides the fact that his name is spelled that way, he often writes video titles and descriptions in all-lowercase.
  • sips. anything he types in-game, including names, will be all lowercase. all of his tweets and everything on his subreddit (including comments by other users) are defaulted to lowercase as well.
  • chuggaaconroy's name. in his 50 facts video he revealed he wanted to use the name chugga a. conroy (with uppercase c's), but youtube username restrictions (at the time) prevented him from using this name. however, when youtube gave him the option to change his name to one with several words, he still kept his username as it was, possibly because his fans recognize him as it has been for several years.
    • on facebook and twitter, though, his name is written with an uppercase c in the beginning.

    literature 
  • a rare in-story example in the kpax novels by gene brewer: prot's species doesn't capitalize the names of individual beings, titles or locations smaller than a celestial body, but capitalizes every letter of things like the planet k-pax, the planet earth, the suns k-mon and k-ril, the constellation lyra, etc.
  • because it is written in the perspective of two different people, half of the john green/david levithan book will grayson, will grayson is written this way.
  • in douglas coupland's novel jpod, a number of characters from a lesbian commune spell their names in lower case, because they see upper case as "privileging" certain letters over others.
  • feminist author bell hooks' pen name.
  • author andrew j offutt likes to write his name in all lowercase.
  • e e cummings' editor published him this way to make him stand out, and now everybody writes his name this way.
  • don marquis wrote a series of newspaper columns in the early 20th century supposedly typed by archy the cockroach, who, while he had the strength to work the keys (by climbing up on top of the type writer and jumping down on the keys) did not have enough strength to work the shift. there was a whole cast of characters in archy's world, including a cat mehitabel. some of the archy and mehitabel columns were collected into a series of books.
  • in the hungarian book pl utcai fik (the boys from paul street) nemecsek ernő's name is written in the titular gang's book with all lower case and with black ink as a mean of dishonor. due to pop cultural osmosis, doing this deliberately in a publication became a means of insult in hungarian.
  • after the quake's chapter titles are all written in lowercase. the english version of the book also has the title in lowercase.
  • australian poet joanne burns actually changed her name to lowercase. however, she does use uppercase letters occasionally in her work.
  • the immortals series does it on covers. even the author's name, yes.
  • this is how angolan-portuguese writer valter hugo me writes his entire books and signs his own name.
  • charles bukowski uses only lowercase in his early works.
  • all of felurian's dialogue in the wise man's fear is written in this fashion.
  • arthur hailey's book airport tells how tanya livingston had a mechanic file off all the capitals on her typewriter, and writes all notes and memos she sends out in lower case.

    live action tv 

    machinima 

    music 
  • lots of song lyrics are written this way
    without punctuation
    to give a flow-of-consciousness feel
    and look more poetic
    see also poetry
  • tori amos. she even has an album title in all lowercase letters (from the choirgirl hotel).
  • 65daysofstatic
  • theaudience
  • the beastie boys' albums paul's boutique and hello nasty take this trope up to eleven by having the liner notes be a simple fold-out with all the lyrics printed in lowercase without punctuation, making for a wall of text that can be difficult to follow at times. check your head side-steps the issue entirely by not having lyrics, while ill communication has all the lyrics written normally but in an eye-strainingly small font.
  • an early example is the beatles' second album with the beatles.
  • bjrk
  • two of the founding members of the black eyed peas, will.i.am and apl.de.ap.
  • blur
  • bond, not to be confused with the other guy
  • david byrne's self-titled album has all text (the front and back covers, and all lyrics and liner notes) written in lowercase.
  • the cars
  • childish gambino used this on his album because the internet as well as on all the song titles.
  • dead prez
  • eels stylized their name on the cover art to their first two albums, beautiful freak and electro-shock blues, this way. from daisies of the galaxy onward, the name was always printed in all-caps, if there was any text on the cover at all. they've never used a properly capitalized name on their artwork, possibly just because an upper-case e followed by a lower case one would look a little asymmetrical.
  • to date elbow have rarely stylized their name with a capital at the beginning... for no apparent reason.
  • exist trace and guitarist miko.
  • fun.
  • peter gabriel signs his work as such.
  • one of the later logos of genesis (featured most prominently on the cover of we can't dance) stylizes the band's name in this way.
  • hexode uses this on his first two albums' names and every track from the first two albums as well as tagtrumer.
  • iamamiwhoami; their song titles (such as "b", "u-1", and "; john") are all lowercase letters as well
  • joyelectric
  • the name of the swedish rock band kent is spelled, well, like that.
  • kendrick lamar's album good kid, m.A.A.d city has a track named "good kid" , written without capital letters. then he followed the album with a new single called "i." kendrick likes this trope.
  • k.d. lang
  • maybeshewill
  • mc chris
  • mclusky tended to stylize their name this way. future of the left, the band andy falkous started after mclusky, generally go for all caps instead, but their album the plot against common sense was an exception.
  • mind.in.a.box, including their album titles.
  • moe.
  • mothy
  • nine inch nails
  • beth orton's album daybreaker does something similar to the beastie boys example above.
  • paramore's 3rd album brand new eyes was written this way.
  • christina perri's album, lovestrong.
  • set fire to flames
  • silverchair
  • slint's landmark album spiderland has (very minimal) liner notes written in this style.
  • the liner notes to the smashing pumpkins' siamese dream and mellon collie and the infinite sadness are written this way.
  • sillyworld by stone sour is written this way
  • that dog. as with fun., the period is officially part of their name.
  • twenty | one | pilots
  • underworld's album: dubnobasswithmyheadman.
  • keith urban, but only on his first american album. he went to normal capitalization for all subsequent albums.
  • weezer's logo uses all lower-case, though no one actually types their name that way. the albums make believe and maladroit have all lower-case titles, but on the other hand raditude, death to false metal and everything will be alright in the end have all caps titles.

    networks 

    newspaper comics 

    poetry 

    video games 

    webcomics 
  • gunnerkrigg court uses the ale and wenches font, most of whose letters look the same in uppercase and lowercase. tom siddell's melancholic use of this and no punctuation period are also evident in his concept art here.
  • because most dialogue in homestuck is typed, not spoken, several characters 'speak' like this, including jade, john, dave, aradia, sollux, nepeta and eridan.
  • minus. Both for the comic and the titular character.
  • pictures for sad children uses this to add to its cynical and fatalistic tone.
  • xkcd in some of the earlier comics.
  • the order of the stick:
  • damaged tape used to be titled in all lowercase, before it moved to an official website—the titles of each new strip are still this trope, however.
  • achewood's roast beef speaks like this dogg complete with no punctuation because he is hella quiet and subdued very much a defining characteristic
  • the inhabitants of monospace speak this way.
  • chainsawsuit, though it occasionally uses capital letters for emphasis.
  • davan in something positive writes like this in instant messenger. it becomes a minor plot point when eva's ex pretends to be davan online, but fails to fool jason because he writes with correct capitalization.
  • ickle's name from Webcomicmy milk toof is always spelt in lowercase to exaggerate his size.
  • alda henning from the breeder arc in unity, who only capitalizes the name of her mistress
    • also, the cartoonist goes by an all-lowercase "fluffy," although this is claimed more to be for typographic purity.
  • luna lovegood speaks this way in voldemort's children, even though no other character does.
  • used in runewriters to show the deaf character tareth's difficulty in speaking.

    web original 
  • this famous metroid fansite uses this style.
  • sloshy from homestar runner uses this in their logo. and they have it written upside down for bonus style points.
  • indie developer auntie pixelante's blog.
  • mr.coconut, the neopets editorial's most recent meme.
  • youtube video captions generated using their transcribe audio feature are often like this.
  • the asdfmovie series.
  • sips never tweets using proper capitals, and most of his subreddit posts are written the same way (though his grammar is better). his video descriptions proper avert this.
  • custom tags on archive of our own ignore any capitalization when the work is saved, and appear in all lowercase until the tagging team makes them canon.
  • wroetoshaw and miniminter of the ultimate sidemen.

    western animation 
  • lampshaded in an episode of the simpsons where marge tried a bland name product version of vitamin water, and—after noticing the label was in all-lowercase—commented that it was like drinking e e cummings.
  • just about every on-screen word in the infamous pbs series caillou was all lowercase letters.

    tv tropes wiki 
  • this page, obviously.
  • some tropers like to do this with their troper names.
  • the tv tropes logo.

    real life 
  • many transcriptions of latin and greek texts use only lower-case letters. this is because the original texts in the classical period had no capital or lower case distinction, and everything used what are now the capital letters. nowadays they seem to be written with bold inflation. but since in most modern typefaces it is much easier on the eyes to read all lower-case letters, they are usually inverted to preserve the original feel. such ancient texts in their original forms also contained neither punctuation nor any spaces, but are given both in modern renditions.
  • original texts in greek minuscule and roman-era latin cursive (to a lesser extent than greek, as many of the letterforms are too different from their modern counterparts to be recognisable) look like precisely this trope to today's readers.
  • herbert bayer, from the famous german bauhaus school of design, banned the use of uppercase letters in school materials in 1925 ("we only use small characters because it saves time. moreover, why have 2 alphabets when one will do? why write capitals if we cannot speak capitals?"). the most iconic "bauhaus" typeform is based on his "universal" typeface.
  • social media researcher danah boyd's name.
  • porn star jessica drake signs her name like this.
  • high school debate personality jon sharpe's name.
  • serial killer ted bundy always signed letters like this: "peace, ted"
  • the 2009 pepsi logo.
  • the 2000 bp logo.
  • the 1998-2003 ford focus logo.
  • officially, the "it's a small world" attraction at disney theme parks is "properly" spelled with all lowercase letters. it's still frequently referred to using capitalization though, even by disney themselves.
  • some grammar textbooks for grade school kids will have exercises with the directions to rewrite sentences written like this with properly capitalized words. the popular joke example of this, "i helped my uncle jack off a horse", is used in gags about why capitalisation is important.
  • elementary school students learning cursive are usually taught lowercase letters first, resulting in this when they attempt to write names or sentences in cursive before finishing the unit.
  • the guardian newspaper's title is written like this, along with the rest of the paper.
  • zachary quinto writes everything on his twitter or in other places in all lowercase letters. sometimes without paragraph breaks, as well. someone on reddit asked him is he was afraid of capitalization, to which he joked (or not) in all caps that he was terrified.
  • christopher poole (aka moot or mootykins), creator of 4chan and its spin-off canv.as, always types like this when replying to his users.
  • adidas uses lowercase in the wordmark portion of its logo (for both the "rrefoil" that currently serves as their retro brand, and their current "three-stripes" logo), and insists on using its name in lower-case in all of its documentation, including press releases from any organization they are partnered with.
  • new balance prints a lowercase logo on many of its shoes.
  • there are certain scripts that are entirely monocase, having no differentiation between lowercase and uppercase. an example would be the georgian alphabet.
  • most of craigslist.
  • text posts on tumblr quite often use all-lowercase letters. pair it with no punctuation is funnier and you have the basis for a lot of comedic posts.
  • a running joke in scientific circles holds that the prestige of your name appearing in print is inversely proportional to the number of capital letters in it:
    • your name in all caps = author or co-author of a research paper (not insignificant, but thousands are produced each year).
    • your name with the first letters capitalized = a scientific principle, law, or constant associated with you (e.g., kepler's laws, fermat's last theorem, or avogadro's number).
    • your name in all lowercase = a unit of measurement (e.g., the watt or tesla).