GOOD
Articles

Dot Your I

In this past weekend's New York Times Magazine, Caroline Winter asked an elementary question: "why do we capitalize the word ‘I'?"Winter digs up some etymology, dissects the evolution of the monolithic majuscule, and comes to the conclusion that the capital "I" doesn't let us see eye to eye. Whereas..\n




In this past weekend's New York Times Magazine, Caroline Winter asked an elementary question: "why do we capitalize the word ‘I'?"

Winter digs up some etymology, dissects the evolution of the monolithic majuscule, and comes to the conclusion that the capital "I" doesn't let us see eye to eye. Whereas the lowercased exchanges in other languages signify equal footing, Winter argues that the letter's capitalization, and the individualism it presumes, has made an imprint on our national character. This, of course, applies to all English-speaking countries.

Most fascinating is the usage of the pronoun by our potential leaders. Winter writes: "On the last day of voting [during primary season], Clinton led the pack with 64 "I" 's and McCain followed with 60. Obama's "I" count lagged at 30, and he was the only candidate whose combined "we" 's (37) and "you" 's (16) outnumbered his "I" 's."

Winter suggests that, for a few topsy-turvy days, we lowercase our "i"s and uppercase those addressed. We think it's a lovely idea for Everyone.

Thanks Aileen!