Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
The computer keyboard was evidently the brainchild of some shifty-eyed geek sitting in solitary confinement in a dark room in Silicon Valley. Or a lunatic perhaps. On one of his his or her darkest days, this sadist gave us the Caps Lock key. Now there’s a giant step for mankind. This is a thoroughly modern idea; there was no such animal on the typewriters of yore (there was a shift lock, but you had to jump up and down on the typewriter to engage it). The only reason for this key’s existence is the annoyance it causes when one accidentally hits it instead of the shift key, as in “tIS pITY hE’S A wRITER IS A CLASSIC . . . “.
Not only does it impede a writer’s progress – the degree depending on how often one looks up at the screen to find something’s gone terribly wrong – it tempts some people (you know who you are) to write things in all caps like THOSE IDIOTS AT FOX NEWS!!! which is itself incredibly annoying to readers.
And that brings up the subject of the exclamation mark (!). No one should be allowed to use the exclamation mark without undergoing an extensive background check and lengthy waiting period. After that, one should be required to pay for each exclamation mark used. The key itself is, when held down, a weapon of mass destruction, automatic, capable of inflicting severe !!!!!!!!!!!!! damage.
While we’re slumming in the upper reaches of the keyboard, we might as well address those F keys. I’m guessing they are used to express oneself dramatically and profanely during times of great consternation, times when you need to say F once, F twice or F 12 times.
I had hoped to avoid the right side (in the directional sense only) of the keyboard. It’s a dangerous, mysterious place, and I want nothing to do with it. I know some of the more adventurous types might look upon it as the New World and go off willy nilly exploring. Not me. I’ll stay in my comfortable, safe, civilized neighborhood with my trusted friends asdf and jkl;. I do worry that, in a reckless moment, I might want to venture over there, but I’m certain that if I do I’ll fall off the edge of the keyboard. That’s why I’ve mounted a little cardboard barricade to keep me in line.
There’s one more particularly dangerous key – actually it’s two keys (why would anyone put the same key on the keyboard twice?) called Ctrl, and it does strange and nasty things. I’ve painted it out and relabeled it Do Not Touch.
There in a nutshell is what’s wrong with the computer keyboard. Oh, one more thing. It make a lot more mistakes than the old typewriters used to.