I am jealous of today’s youth. They live in a keyboard world. Back in the olden days, when I walked uphill both ways to school in the snow….or maybe I rode on a heated school bus…my memory is fuzzy on the details. But I do remember that I had to write with my fingers and hands. We manipulated utensils we called “pencils” and “pens.”
It wasn’t until senior year of high school when everyone faced the dreaded “term paper” was I even introduced to a typewriter.
Do kids even write term papers anymore? Or do they just cut and paste them?
Actually I’m fibbing. I did take a mandatory typing class in the 7th grade — 35 wpm…on a manual I might add — but for what? I never saw another typewriter until term paper time. My parents didn’t own one — we had to buy one so my older brother could type his term paper — and in school we used pencils. For important papers we used pens. [Remember erasable pens? Ahh..the good old days.] I favored the clear plastic bics with the cap that you lost two seconds after you started using it. In the 8th grade, I once saw a kid absently-mindedly sucking on the end of one of those bics during a rather boring lecture. He actually sucked the ink up into his mouth. I think they pumped his stomach. I don’t feel so bad because he was a dick.
But I digress.
Kid’s these days are growing up with keyboards and touchpads everywhere. Not only computers but cell phones, the remote control and ATMs. The time has come to do away with writing instruments entirely. As such, I believe in being prepared. I am suggesting a set of governing rules for typing and language.
giantELF’s Rules of Typing
- from and form should be interchangeable.
- semi-colons can be used in contractions. (e.g. don;t laugh at the misuse of my semi-colon it;s right next to the apostrophe on the keyboard and I sometimes hit it on accident.)
- The use of “quotation marks” should be “outlawed” unless you “attend a training program” and are “certified” in how to “use” them.
- All correspondence should be typewritten only. No more handwritten personal notes. I don’t have time to decipher your handwriting or the unique way you write your seven. (You know who you are.)
- Don’t get me started on cursive.
- The complete prohibition of capital letters beginning NOW. or maybe lowercase. but let’s pick one and go with it. capital letters lead to a class society and the dumbing down of america. who needs capital letters at the beginning of a sentence? the period let’s us all know the sentence has ended. why do we need to reminded a new sentence is starting with a capital? are we idiot’s? it’s the equivalent of grammatical stuttering.
- And why are we so special that we need to capitalize our names? If we insist on the continuation of capital letters it might be best to reserve this honor for important folks like Lincoln, Kennedy or Trump. joe, bob and ted can suck it. Our capitalization hubris is so inflated that we capitalize individuals like Steve and Annette yet we use lowercase for entire groups like humans and insects. Are we as individuals greater than the whole? Is Alice more important than womankind? I think not. I say reverse it.
- Get rid of the stupid caps lock key. No capitalization = no caps lock key. How many times has your left pinky reached for the letter “a” only to hit the caps lock key. This is usually noticed at least three paragraphs later when you finally look up at your screen. (Be honest…we all stare at the keyboard while we type). You then spend the next few moments contemplating whether it’s quicker to delete and start over, or to figure out how to toggle the case — something you’ve done once or twice before but only vaguely remember how.
- If we do away with the caps lock key it should be replaced with something that is much more useful. Like a “latte” key which sends an automatic preset order to the nearest Starbucks. No one will complain that they missed the letter “a” if they have a half-caf latte and raspberry scone waiting when they finish.
- Why can’t lowercase just be smaller versions of capital letters? What’s with all the stylization? Hh…Bb…Ii?? Xx…Zz and Cc should be the standard. I know, all you reactionary radicals will see this as a slippery slope that will eventually lead to a full scale use of only capital letters. Here’s my response: You’re on to me.
Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below. I’ll forward them to the International Institute On Standardizing The Typewritten Word (IIOSTTW). Their office is located the second floor of my home. I’ll put in a good word.