Campus observers will have noticed a proliferation of lower-case signs in recent weeks. subtext has already noted ‘law school’ outside the entrance to Bowland North from the spine (see subtext 170), and now we have ‘languages and cultures’ affixed to the wall of Bowland North, facing the Chaplaincy Centre. Why languages gets the outward-facing wall and law gets the inward-facing wall seems a little unclear – and both ‘history’ and ‘students’ union’ are affixed to the wall of Bowland Main. Other lower-case signs have been cropping up in Fylde, Furness and The County colleges. The reaction in the subtext warehouse is somewhat mixed. It is not thought to be orthographically correct, but in the world of advertising and marketing, it is seen as having a cool, casual hip feel with the intention of looking more youth orientated. Whether or not it actually does appeal to the yoof crowd is debatable; pop-culture fads come and go, sometimes losing their appeal almost immediately.

In fiction, lower-case is a stylistic choice that can be used to give a melancholic feel to your writing or, when used in a visual narrative sense, to indicate childishness or, in some cases, idiocy. On a darker note, this trope also has a tendency to appear in most post-apocalyptic fiction where it is used to mark the point where the unfortunate author has gone mad or given up all hope. We welcome readers’ views, and leave it to you to decide why subtext has always rendered itself with a lower-case ‘s’…

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