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Off Key

Off Key

                                                   By  Tim  Uhr


Watch your ‘puter!

Computers are evil… but for you young-ins, the damnation started even before these wicked devices were invented. Long before The Net captured us all and all that wicky leaking begun bloodletting our great corrupt system, maybe it was something simpler that led us down the path of destruction and deception. Before we Surfed and turfed, and faced books, and yittered and tweeted, and Fried our Space. Look no further than the keypad, or keyboard on your computer, laptop, smart phone, Pi-book, or whatever. This depravity started way way back to something not many people remember anymore, an ancient contraption called a typewriter.

I have made some marginal errors in my life. My typewriter doesn't always return to the same spot on the page when starting a new line. Speaking of typewriters, have you ever noticed, and wondered why, the keys on typewriters aren't in alphabetical order? The manufacturers say it's because it would be harder to type if they were arranged alphabetically. Supposedly it wasn't just a mistake they made when the machine was in the planning stages. But I don't believe it! I think that it only took one dyslexic person working in a factory to frustrate all future typists. They try to say that each letter was put in its place for a reason. Letters usually typed next to each other, like "t" and "h” are placed near each other to make it easy to type. If this were true the "t”, "i” and "m" would be all in a row so I could type my name quickly. Also, why aren't the numbers at the top arranged the same way, instead of their correct order? Certain combinations are used more frequently in numbers too, like the "2" and "0" to make dates easier to type. They didn't arrange the numbers in some cockamamie order to make it "easier to type."

Bullonie on their excuses! I am here to expose the truth about all of these typewriter companies who have been fooling a lot of innocent people for years. I am ready to take on the wrath of these powerful companies. In a brave example of investigative reporting in the likes of Watergate, I am here to expose the truth. Every now and then you have to buck heads with the big guys even when the odds are high. I am just the one to do it, And The Time Is Now!!!

McCarthy is turning over in his grave…

Through years of grueling research and interrogation of the most noble and trustworthy of sources I have come to the undeniable conclusion that these big, powerful typewriter companies made a slight mistake when they started production and they didn't want to recall the thousands of machines they had already sold before they caught the error. You watch, after they sell all the machines made with the mistaken alphabet they will suddenly announce that after years of research, they found that alphabetically correct keyboards are actually better to type on after-all and they will soon start making them that way. Then millions of people will be stuck with the old-fashioned ones that will be worthless once the truth is out. This mistake is actually going to make the typewriter companies money, it’s called planned obsolescence!

I figure, with the add of my pocket calculator (it's buttons are correctly in order), that by the year 2107 all the typewriters they made bearing the mistaken keyboards will have been completely sold out. That is when they will announce that through years of research and through massive group studies it has been shown by their analysts that alphabetically arranged keyboards are best. As a public survive alphabetized typewriters will then flood the market, and to top it off these new typewriters will cost a good deal more, you will have to pay for the "innovation.” All the old typewriters will become conveniently out of date.

Remember you heard it here first! When in 2107 I say, "I told you so!!!", you will remember that I said I was going to say "I told you so," today.

Doubters!? There may be some unbalanced people out there disposed to have the audacity to question the validity of my well-researched scientific facts. You, the irrational, ask how they could have made electric typewriters and computers back when the mistake was first made when such things as electricity and ram chips weren't invented yet. Yes, it's true that these things didn't exist when the mistake was made and it was caught long before they were thought of, in fact they found the mistake on the first day, it's such an obvious one! The keys are all basically the same no matter the device, they fit the same into any typewriter. So while it's true that electric typewriters and computers weren't around yet, when the mistake was found, they had all those keys that they hadn't used up before they could stop the pressing of the mistaken keys. It's a well-known fact that the keys are made to fit on the keyboard only a certain way, like a jigsaw puzzle, and can't be switched around. Even though there is hardly a typewriter left in the world, still the computer companies bought all these keys that the typewriter companies had stored up, at a huge discount – I might add – that would also make it absolutely unfeasible for them to correct the original mistake. I think that some people call it the original sin – and we’re still paying for it.

Thank mass production. Just take a look up in the attic of any typewriter manufacturer… I mean Computer Company… and you will find boxes and boxes of typewriter keys that were printed up years ago. It would be financially foolish to admit to their mistake and have to throw out all those keys.

And now (a drum role is in order), to finally prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it as a mistake and not done on purpose… Take a look at the letters. "q,w,e,r,t,y,u,i,o,p,a,s,d,f,g,h,j,k,l, z,x,c,v,b,n,m." Now if they really meant to make the letters so that they are easier to type to form common words, then why did they stick, so obviously close to the alphabet?

The letter "v" is only one letter away from its regular position in the alphabet, if they were arranged correctly, and so is the letter “H". I could see if just one letter was close to where it should be it could be chalked up to coincidence, but twice? Both the "v" and the “H" are close to their normal positions! Sorry, but that is just a little to hard for me to believe that both these letters would happen to fall only one slot away from where they would be if the keyboard were arranged alphabetically. Coincidence? HAH! Who are these thieves trying to kid?

"Surely not I." said the wise man. Mr. Qwerty, I believe.

No wonder I have always been a two-finger typist! I spent all those years, struggling to learn the alphabet and I just can't forget it like that. I am sorry, but I just don't see why I should have to suffer and rack my brain to relearn the alphabet, just over a mistaken keyboard – which was the typewriter companies fault anyway, and will probably be corrected by 2107.

I can wait. I shouldn’t have to… but I can wait.

I think that we should all boycott any device with an incorrect keyboard on it until they fix the problem.

Maybe I’ll join an action group, or start a charity, or something…

Pfok! People for orderly keyboards!  


What is this world coming to?



Orderly yours,                                                                                                                   èim  Uhr



P.S: By the year 2107 I'll probably have the hang of these mistaken keyboards and will be up to three fingered typing, only to have them change it.

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