Different strokes

ImageThere is a conspiracy. I’m not normally a conspiracy-theorist, I’m willing to believe that men really did land on the moon, Princess Diana’s death actually was an accident and President Kennedy was shot by a lone loony.

However, when it comes to keyboards, which play a major part in my life (wot wiff me bein’ a awfur) there is most definitely a conspiracy going on.

I learned to touch type at a Secretarial School in Leeds which led to jobs in the newspaper industry and eventually being a PA. All this time on a British (QWERTY) keyboard. So when I moved to France I found that some bugger had moved a few of the keys around, added squiggles all over the shop and generally done their best to make my efforts at touch typing in English come out as a cross between Klingon and Frontier Gibberish.

After twenty-odd years here I am now unable to use anything but a French AZERTY keyboard. What is left of the brain tells the fingers to pop along to the right places whether I’m writing in French or English. Not a problem. Even in Spain I found my way around because they had amusingly added upside down punctuation without altering the general layout of the keys.

QUERTY is going to be coming back to bite my backside. I know this will be a battle of wills because the last time I was in Scotland I borrowed my Auntie Mu’s laptop to send a few emails and stared in horror at the tas de merde that had appeared on the screen while I was staring out of the window and typing away. Having been given a new toy, a Nexus 7, I thought it would be nice to have a keyboard/case and dived onto the net to find one. Only QUERTY available…or German. Oh ye gods!

I had a squint at it. The effect was rather the way I put on my make up – throw it in the air, stand under it and see how it falls. Either that or an explosion in a Rubik’s Cube factory with letters, squiggly bits and odd capitals. Something tells me that my cerebral filing system is going to have to remember where the British keys are, going back to my exercises (A S D F, semi L K J to a metronome) rather than play an unequal game with a totally new plan. Small grey cells would be squeaking β€œHey! Gissa break! We are already struggling with a lot of damage here, mate. The engines cannae take it, Captain!”

One Nexus 7 keyboard case (qwerty) now on order. I’ll keep you posted…in Klingon or other strange tongues. big-foot f


8 thoughts on “Different strokes

  1. GRRNACH YOBBASHGNIG Ailsa (Klingon for Good Luck I think – anyway, it don’t ‘alf ‘urt the froat LOL πŸ˜€
    PS – No keyboards (Apple or otherwise), were injured in the tryping of this comment πŸ˜€

  2. I had the same problem when I tried to use my friend’s computer in France. (Now if I go to visit her I just take my own. It’s faster) I learned to touch type in Spain (with a manual typewriter, perish the thought!), but you’re right that the keys are in the same places (although with some other letters and punctuation added for good measure) so not that difficult to convert to English when I moved. I’ve discovered a way to make the keyboard work for Spanish (I can use symbols without a problem but it’s faster for accents with the Spanish one) but have to try and remember where the punctuation is… Despite all that,learning to touch type has been one of the most useful things I’ve done (and I taught myself so). Good luck with the new keyboard… And if we don’t get used to the novelties we can always create a new language…

    1. I thought you might understand but the brain is a very clever filing system (or should be) which hides away things not needed at the moment (like my Spanish) but can find them again eventually if necessary…somewhat in the manner of my rather personalised filing system when I was working We’ll see, or write in Franco-Spanglish!

  3. I had a conversation with some friends he other night (yes we were at the pub). About what skill we’d have if we had magic wands. One went for siging, one for drawing and two for playing an instrument. I have now changed my mind (or could be greedy?) I would love to be bi-lingual (other than Yorkshire and English) as well as being able to draw a straight line with a ruler, I would love to be able to touch type (on ANY keyboard) I have tried but can not get to grips with it.
    Welcome back to QWERTY land Ailsa.

    1. I have to agree with both you and Olga,Di – the ability to touch type is something that should be taught in schools nowadays, seeing as we all rely on computers. The thing I cannot get my head around (well one of many) is texting. It takes me twice as long to send a text message as it would to leave a voice mail. Harumph! Magic powers I would like? To be able to draw. Artistic with words and junk (recycling of) but hopeless with a pencil or paintbrush.

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