Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Easier

Have you ever wondered why people will sooner type @ as opposed to "at"? Personally, I think "at" is a lot easier to type. It's just two left-hand letters. However, to get the @ symbol, in proper QWERTY touch-typing, you hold the right shift, then find 2 with the left hand (admittedly, even some of the best touch-typists have to look to find numbers).

I see this all the time at work. Someone will submit a merchant, usually some kind of homeowners association, like "the Condos at Lakeside" and they'll use @ instead of "at". I just don't get it. It's not a form of computer shorthand like u for you or 4 for for or thx for thanks, because shorthand, by definition, is supposed to be a faster form of writing because many things are substituted or abbreviated. I don't think something that takes longer to type than the original serves the purpose of shorthand, so I can't seem to figure out what purpose it serves at all.

Maybe it's a sign that these people are not touch-typists. If you're busy hunting and pecking, any combination is going to be difficult. I will concede that there seem to be precious few touch-typists in the world, or at least of my acquaintances. Even people (like my dad) who use QWERTY keyboards for work and fun are lacking in typing skills. It's funny when one of the IT guys at OBC has to work on my computer. The letters are rubbed off of most of the keys on my keyboard. They ask me every time if I want a new one, I reply with "why? I don't need to see them to know what they are." (I won't even get into how crazy they are about my left-handed mouse.)

The only place where @ belongs is in an e-mail address. It still doesn't count as shorthand.

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