I think this is pretty much standard now; in Oxford Classicals Texts and the Oxford Latin Dictionary you'll find 'u' for both the consonant and vowel in the lower case, and 'V' for both the consonant and vowel in the upper case.
"I am delighted to have compiled the first Latin grammar in English to have banished the letter 'v' from the Latin alphabet. It was never there."
whiteoctave, what an orgasmic post.
whiteoctave wrote:cweb255, it really is a waste of time to make sweeping platitudes founded on misconceptions that do not even deserve the sad name of 'half-truths'. when you say 'The Romans' you must refer, we have to presume, merely to those who wrote inscriptions or those slaves who copied manuscripts for the Roman élite. you seem to lack all knowledge of the Roman cursive hand, about which wall graffiti of Pompeii has taught palaeographers a great deal. for images of the cursive hand, i gladly refer you to CIL vol.iv or Pal.Soc.ii.30 or De Rossi's Roma subterranea Christiana. you may also be interested to learn of the waxed tablets preserving Roman cursive from c.A.D. 53-62 (found in 1875, edited in 1898 in suppl. to CIL, iv). along with these one can consider the waces tablets found in Dacia (in CIL, iii) and, more recently, the hand of the Vindolanda tablets is of course a form of Roman cursive. some miscellaneous papyrus scripts with Latin cursive also survive. to quote Thomson on the matter (Greek and Latin Palaeography): '[such] examples of Roman cursive writing represent the ordinary writing of the people for about the first three centuries of the Christian era. The letters are essentially the old Roman letters writtern with fluency, and undergoing certain modifications in their forms, which eventually developed into the minuscule hand. The same original Roman letters written carefully became [of course]...the formal capital inscriptions under the Empire.' a quick look at the tables printed in the above works shows that the form of the letter (for there was only one letter in the mind of the Romans) was, depending on the hand either a u or a halfway cross between u and v with two curved strokes reaching a point on coming together at their base. if one takes a look at the famous Ravenna deed, u (by which i mean u and the modern, and barbaric, consonantal v) is very much in the form of the typed letter here, with the tail at the base of the right ascender.
you are thus most sorrily wrong. luckily, to use your words, 'who cares avout precedent?'. let our arrangement therefore stand as follows: those who do, in studying the Classical word, wish to emulate their conception of their own tongue as best as possible shall use u and u alone; those who care little for such matters can, in a state of Polyphemic blindness and bacchic lunacy do whatever on earth they wish - and yes, that includes breaking the rules of Latin syntax.
[edit: corrected second reference]