::Letter case


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The lower-case "a" and upper-case "a" are the two case variants of the first letter in the alphabet.

In orthography and typography, letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upper case (also capital letters, capitals, caps, large letters, or more formally majuscule (see Terminology) and smaller lower case (also small letters, or more formally minuscule, see Terminology) in the written representation of certain languages. Here is a comparison of the upper and lower case versions of each letter included in the English alphabet (the exact representation will vary according to the font used):

Upper case A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Lower case a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Typographically, the basic difference between the majuscules and minuscules is not that the majuscules are big and minuscules small, but that the majuscules generally have the same height. The height of the minuscules varies, as some of them have parts higher or lower than the average, i.e. ascenders and descenders. In Times New Roman, for instance, b, d, f, h, k, l, t <ref>In Roman Antiqua or other vertical fonts, the defunct Initial or Medial Long-s ‘ ſ ’ would have been an ascender, however, in italics, it could have been one of only two letters in the English or Expanded Latin Alphabet with both an ascender and a descender; the other being ‘ f ’ when italicized. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> are the letters with ascenders, and g, j, p, q, y are the ones with descenders. Further to this, with old-style numerals still used by some traditional or classical fonts—although most do have a set of alternative Lining Figures— 6 and 8 make up the ascender set, and 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 the descender set.

Letter case is often prescribed by the grammar of a language or by the conventions of a particular discipline. In orthography, the uppercase is primarily reserved for special purposes, such as the first letter of a sentence or of a proper noun, which makes the lowercase the more common variant in text. In mathematics, letter case may indicate the relationship between objects with uppercase letters often representing "superior" objects (e.g. X could be a set containing the generic member x). Engineering design drawings are typically labelled entirely in upper-case letters, which are easier to distinguish than lowercase, especially when space restrictions require that the lettering be small.

Letter case sections
Intro   Terminology    Bicameral script    Case folding    History    See also    References    External links   

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