Revisiting the Keyboard: Stop the Neglect and the Abuse!
by, 08-26-2008 at 02:30 PM (3701 Views)
In their infinite wisdom, the creators of the typewriter keyboard created many wonderful keys. Some of the most important include the shift key, the caps lock key, the Y, O, ., !, and ? keys. These poor keys get alternatively neglected and abused. I think it's time we put a stop to this, don't you?
First, the poor neglected keys.
At some point, someone decided that not using shift, y and o keys would be keen and unique and clever.
I am here to clarify this misconception: It is not. It is neither keen nor unique nor clever. It has long moved beyond those classifications. It is now unoriginal and lazy and appears uneducated.
I do not say this to offend or to abuse anyone, I'm just stating a fact. I can appreciate that when texting on a telephone with a limited keyboard, capitalization is not a priority. But this isn't text messaging. This is a message board. Perhaps if we don't have time to be properly applying capitalization, we should hold off on posting until later. We can ask ourselves: Is it really that critical that I need to post this in such a haste that it doesn't matter that I don't capitalize? Chances are that NOTHING posted on MousePad is THAT critical. In addition, posting without capitalization (and proper punctuation) often appears very immature. This isn't merely sending a message about the poster but a natural consequence of this pattern is that other posters just won't be taking your posts seriously.
And then there are the "Y" and "O" keys. It is, thankfully, a much less common annoyance anymore, but the letter "U" misses his friends "Y" and "O" there's just no reason to keep them apart. Again, if you can't be bothered to take the time to type "you", why should the members of the community be bothered to seriously consider your posts or to take the time to type out answers to your questions?
Now for the other side of this situation: Abused Keys.
Let's start with the, again, thankfully less abused Caps Lock Key.
IT IS NOT CLEVER OR ORIGINAL TO TYPE WITH EXCESSIVE CAPITALIZATION. IT IS RUDE AND ANNOYING. IT APPEARS TO BE SHOUTING. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT SOME POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL DOESN'T HAVE THE SENSE TO NOTICE THAT HIS OR HER CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK "ON".
One note is that, fortunately, the vBulletin system is programmed such that if a person posts in all caps, it will convert most of the letters to lower-case but will leave the first letter of each and every word capitalized. This can also be painful to read, literally. All-caps or the resulting all each word capitalized is a strain to read. People will skip over such posts or not take the messages within them as seriously as they would others.
Finally, there are the abused punctuation keys... That's right... Let's start with the period, which gets magically turned into... an ellipse... For those who just can't commit to finishing a complete sentence... they can draw out their thoughts instead... as if they can't quite figure out where to stop... their worlds are fragmented... Again, it's not clever... or poetic... Find a way, please, to express a coherent sentence or else just accept that the sentence is complete and end it with a simple period.
I do appreciate the occasional need to express extreme emotion. I really do. I use all-caps to make emphasis and occasionally I'll add a second exclamation point or question mark. But, I really do try to exercise a bit of restraint. Please note the title of this blog post. One simple exclamation point makes my point without taking up more bandwidth than necessary or appearing to be more critical than it truly is.
We know sometimes people get really excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We appreciate that sometimes people are very confused. Can you imagine being so confused???????????????????
But really, let's face it, we don't need so many exclamation points or question marks most of the time. One is going to be sufficient. I won't even quibble with an occasional double, within the text of a post. But please, leave the poor ! and ? keys alone and leave the use of your shift key to really important tasks.
You know, like capitalizations.