By convention, environment variables (
EDITOR, …) and internal shell variables (
BASH_VERSION, …) are capitalized. All other variable names should be lower case.
Remember that variable names are case-sensitive; this convention avoids accidentally overriding environmental and internal variables.
Keeping to this convention, you can rest assured that you don’t need to know every environment variable used by UNIX tools or shells in order to avoid overwriting them. If it’s your variable, lowercase it. If you export it, uppercase it.