I wish to put forth my views on the use of small i in sentences, where i is not at the beginning of the sentence as then, capital will be used anyway(which is being seen everyday in TOI of late), at the same time keeping in mind that I am humble and down-to-earth and have no intention to boast about my existence or gloat over my achievements, which would justify my saying anything about using or not using i without you asking my opinion, but freedom of speech is my right and I’m going to say it anyway.
The meek lower case i with a dot adorning its head like a crown has taken the place of the mighty, towering and imposing I in written English. In Old and Middle English, the word for ‘I’ was closer to its German cousin ‘ich’. However, ‘ch’ was dropped with the passage of time and what was left was i. (German still retains the ch).
The only two alphabets in modern English which are used as a word are a and i. a managed to retain its position but somehow it was sad to look at an i. In the 1300s when Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, the i seemed slightly bigger and that was how I was born.
There are many reasons why usage of small i should be avoided, one of them being the small i is too difficult to locate in an ocean of words, all vying for our attention and in the process, the importance accorded to i gets lost, we don’t feel so good about that person anymore, it’s like they say they’ve low self esteem and feel small about themselves. A few authors are still using I in their articles, showing that they deserve to be given importance and should be respected. Sometimes, I(I’d never trade my self esteem for an i) feel that the person typing out the article wants to hide his/her face somewhere in the crowd of a multitude of writers and is being apologetic for letting others know what his/her thoughts are on a particular issue, hence wasting their time by not allowing them to concentrate on more serious aspects of their personal and social life.
Every individual needs to have adequate self esteem to establish themselves in this world and believe they are here for a purpose and are important enough to be heard. However, when they use i with a small vertical line running from up to down, with a dot over it, somehow I feel the article and their views lose importance, maybe because we’re so accustomed to using I that i now seems like an alien from the outer world, come to sabotage our beloved English language, making us humble no doubt, also people who don’t feel great about their selves. It’s ironic that the parent I was born out of the child i. Time to wonder: is history repeating itself or a future being created when children will outshine their parents?