THE "DAISY CUTTER," THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE BOMB IN AMERICA'S
ARSENAL OUTSIDE NUCLEAR DEVICES. THE DAISY CUTTER SENDS OUT A
SHOCK WAVE THAT IS CAPABLE OF LEVELING AN ENTIRE TOWN. IT'S A
GOOD WEAPON TO USE IF YOU'RE NOT BEING TOO PICKY ABOUT WHO
YOU WANT TO KILL.
During the 80s I worked in the printing business. One of the first
things they teach you in printing is how to mark up heads — heads, side
heads, table heads on financial pages. The convention here in the US is
that heads go C/lc — Caps, lower case. There are certain words in which
the initial letter is put lower case, like "and" or "the" as well as a
few others. The rest go initial cap.
Generally, that's the style here in the US. And it's true for most newspaper
and magazine heads as well. There are exceptions, but in the main the style
But that's not true everywhere. Doing a post in which the title was in
Danish recently, Alan informed me that I had the words right, but that
the convention in Denmark was not to use C/lc style, just one initial
cap for the first word. Thus instead of "Gronland og Detektiv Litteratur"
it would be "Gronland og detektiv litteratur." So I changed it. When in
Rome, do as the Romans. Or in this case, as the Danish.
Personally, I like the C/lc convention. It gives heads a certain more
balanced look in my view. But when it comes right down to it, it doesn't
really make any difference.
I have a hypothesis about the C/cl convention here, but I should mention
up front that I haven't done any actual research on this and that it is
merely speculative. My hypothesis is that perhaps we use the C/lc
convention due to the fact that English is derived in the main from the
German and the Germanic language group, where the convention is that
nouns are given an initial cap. The only problem with that idea is that
Danish is also derived from the Germanic Language group via the
Scandinavian language group, and they don't use the C/lc convention. So
I really can't say for sure.
Cut to a post that Alan did recently about the Caps Lock (er, caps lock)
Americans like big things. Why have a word begin with a lower case
letter, when you have big upper case letters available? In fact, why even
use lower case at all when you have the awesome power of the CAPS LOCK
just to the left of your little finger?
We Americans like big stuff. We like BIG SPORTING EVENTS AND BIG SUVS
AND BIG HAMBURGERS AND BIG JETS AND BIG BOMBS. THE LATER TWO OF
WHICH OFTEN GETS US INTO…
a big mess. but let's not put that one in all caps, eh?
And we tend not to like that BIG SUV quite as much either when the cost
of gas goes up and we have to pay that BIG FUEL BILL AT THE PUMP. But
there we just tend to blame world events, which are a BIG PAIN IN THE
ASS and not ourselves for our choice of vehicle. And then too we have
to look at ourselves in the mirror when that BIG HAMBURGER ends up giving
us a BIG GUT or, worse, a BIG CORONARY INFARCTION.
On the other hand, Americans and our BIG STUFF can be helpful every once
in a while. Like in Europe in 1941-45, for example. We can occasionally be
a BIG HELP and perhaps for a while even a BIG FRIEND.
When we're not taking some countries to the BIG CLEANERS, that is.
In any case I'm sure that Americans would be using ALL CAPS pretty much
ALL THE TIME if it weren't such a BIG HEADACHE to read compared to C/lc.
I APOLOGIZE FOR THIS POST BUT I'M NOW ON MY THIRD BIG CUP OF COFFEE.