So, have you ever wondered if the uppercase and lowercase numbers exist too?
Well, you see most numbers that exist today are uppercase. However, you sometimes come across lowercase numbers too, its just you fail to notice it.
This is an old US penny :
Notice how the numerals don’t all line up at the top and bottom? Here’s a better way to show it, comparing lowercase or “oldstyle” figures with the more commonplace uppercase or “lining” numerals.
Sadly, very few people know how to access the old style. Phototypesetting almost killed the old figures. Digital fonts majorly supported the uppercase numbers.
For more than 500 years after Arabic numerals displaced Roman figures (I, II, III etc), lowercase numbers were the only ones that existed. The uppercase style we are used to seeing was introduced late in the 18th century.
Lowercase numbers are used in books, as the uppercase numbers tend to break the flow of reading.
However when all uppercase letters are used lowercase numbers will break the flow of it.
So, what’s the need of knowing this? Well, there are several significance in knowing the old way of writing number. Its greatly important when you are writing something.