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I am pondering the following question, is there a typographical convention for which of the following choices should be prefered?

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or

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The background is:

  • I want the title style in small capitals.
  • fMRI is a common abbreviation where the first letter is always lowercase (which in other font styles is a minuscule).
  • Small capital f might be the representation for lowercase f in the chosen font style, but it makes thee abbreviation less recognizable.
  • Whereas most words are capitalized or not depending on the surrounding punctuation, fMRI is never capitalized, therefore the word recognition is more affected by the switch from a minuscule to a small capital.

If there is no such thing as a convention, which would you recommend?

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    I’m not aware of any such convention, but I would recommend using the lowercase f too, for precisely the reasons you give. The closest equivalent convention I can think of is in Irish where grammatical eclipsis is always lowercase, even in uppercase text; so the uppercase version of the name of the Irish national hymn, for example, is AMHRÁN NA bhFIANN. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 3 at 16:25

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