THE BLOG
16/02/2015 10:28 GMT | Updated 17/04/2015 06:59 BST

ON ... UPPER CASE - Rest in Peace

Words became no more than practicalities, an idle invariance when the unbearable stresses of pressing the 'SHIFT' button, or scribbling a capital became too much to shoulder for those with another thing on their mind, such as texting, or reality television, maybe both.

Back in the old days - and by that I mean as far back as maybe 10 odd years ago - there existed two breeds of letter: the strong and steady UPPER CASES, and the populous yet loyal lower cases. They were a straight-forward bunch and the fondest of buddies, spending their days hanging out in sentences and paragraphs, living on a diet of aspirations, creativity, and dusty old phrases - on occasion clubbing together to bring order and understanding to the sometimes random world they found themselves in. A world where anything could and would happen: books, stories, correspondence, shopping lists written on the back of tatty, old envelopes, post-it reminders, even blogs penned by the glib and gobby, Irish writer that is me.

Oh, indeed, their joy knew no bounds.

Life was good and each knew their place in the grander scheme of all things written. And, even though the lower cases made up the majority of the population, they looked up to and supported their bigger brother, sisters, and cousins - permitting them to go first in a sentence, insisting they take pride of place at the beginning of place-names, titles, and other such important tasks as the capitalised 'I' when someone wished to adhere to standard orthology ... and, the fantastic thing was, for centuries beyond count, this relationship worked, beheld the beauty of their companionship.

Yet something dark began to brew among the nefarious minds who supported the over-use of lower case, a dominance of lethargy ... and, not content to have lower cases as the mere majority, they urged these happy folk towards total dominance and staged a steady rebellion; first by bringing down the mighty 'I', next came first and surnames, then proper nouns and titles - until not even addresses nor shopping lists could withstand this evil onslaught, to the point order and understanding abandoned the written word and we found ourselves in this existence of boring sameness. The light had gone ... words became no more than practicalities, an idle invariance when the unbearable stresses of pressing the 'SHIFT' button, or scribbling a capital became too much to shoulder for those with another thing on their mind, such as texting, or reality television, maybe both if these poor souls can manage two things at the same time.

So - please - I (look I just did it - oops, and again) implore you to pay homage to the disappearing upper cases ... to regret their parting and shed perhaps a single tear for these once proud letters. Maybe even find a way to encourage those who do them this injustice to pack it in. For truly I (did it again - easy stuff) fear, in the days to come, the written word might never be the same, might have reached a turning point where lethargy triumphs and sentences become indistinguishable in context ... not to mention bloody annoying to read.

Before I go, I have one last sad group to mention ... and I urge you all to hold a thought for another disappearing group of words. For many centuries they were deemed good and grand, managed to group together and convey their meaning without belittlement or extra treatment. By group of words I mean the extended title, such as (from my last blog) 'Back to the Future II', or (heaven forbid) 'The Only Way is Essex', even explanatory phrases like: 'By the way' or 'For your information', all fine to convey their collective meaning and now no more than lowly abbreviations: 'bttf2', 'towie', 'btw', and 'fyi' ... think of them as well as you charge into the future. Think of them and remember when sentences and paragraphs were of mixed-cases, contained real words, and were colourful. Oh my ... how joy did abound.

Anyhoo ... enough nonsense ... many thanks for stopping by, and have a terrific rest of the week and weekend - may you spend it in the company of some fine prose such as (my read of the week): A Season of Glass; John Caulfield ... a fantastic book, do yourself a real favour and read it.

Slán go fóill ... ☺