lower/upper a or lower/upper case a ? (outline presentation)

alexandra-paris

Member
français-France
Hi everyone,
In the context of a public presentation, could you please let me know what is the appropriate and more natural way to move from one heading, subheading to another by naming their letter.

Outline of the presentation :
1. Main heading
A/ Sub-heading
a/Sub-sub heading

My 1st attempt (upper case)
I am moving on now to the upper case A sub-section as per my outline.

or
I am moving on now to the upper A sub-section...

My second attempt (lower case):

I am moving on now to the lower case a sub-section...

Or

I am moving on now to the lower a sub-section...

In general is there a short to refer to lower and upper case letters ? I know that upper case can be replaced by "capital A" for instance. But does it apply to the context above I don't know... ?

Thank you very much in advance for your insights!
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The usual order for headings would be a Roman numeral written with capital letters, then a capital letter, then an Arabic number, then a lower case letter, and then a roman numeral written with lower case letters, like this:
    I Major Section
    A Heading
    1. First subheading
    a.
    b.
    2. Second subheading
    a.
    i.
    ii.
    iii.
    iv.
    b.
    c.
    3. Third subheading

    ...and so on. You could then say "Let us look at section A 1" or "section A 2 b" (pronounced as A-one, and A-two-B).
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you very much Owlman but how to differentiate the two "A" and "a" subsections please ? Thanks again!
    You're welcome, Alexandra. GreenWhiteBlue's post contains the format I usually see when somebody is dividing a lengthy document into subsections. Your outline will be very clear if you use that format.

    If you want to stick with your format, it should be enough to use upper case and lower case letters in italics or with parentheses or some sort of quotation marks around them.
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    how to differentiate the two "A" and "a"
    In print or writing they are already distinguished because "A" and "a" look different. It's only when you are reading this out loud (speaking it) that you need to do something special to distinguish them.
    You can say "upper case A" and "lower case a", but should not say just "upper A" or "lower a".
    Instead of "upper case A" we can also say "capital A". There is, as far as I know, no formal equivalent for "lower case a", but you can get by with informal "small a" or "little a".
     

    alexandra-paris

    Member
    français-France
    Thank you very much Edinburgher, this is exactly what I was wondering if we could go with "small a" because I used it once as I was dictating a sentence to someone and I was not sure it was used this way.
     
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