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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Apparently I had writer's block

Sometimes I notice strange things and ask goofy questions.  For example, why do the question mark and exclamation point reside at different corners of my keyboard?  (For the historical background, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY). Generally speaking, the arrangement places the keys you use the most right under your fingertips, while you must stretch for keys that are used less frequently.  Other characters even require the combined use of the SHIFT key, presumably because they account for even less activity.

My little pinkie is the weakest finger on my hand, and I have to use both of my pinkies to access the question mark and exclamation point.  The exclamation point has become my nemesis.  I have to think about it each time I want to use it@1!  (There, I finally got it.)  I don't have many problems doing commas and periods; I use them more often, and they come naturally.  But exclamation points give me fitsQ@#!

You know something?  In an indirect way, the arrangement of a keyboard reveals something about who we are.  We all tend to make a greater number of bland, traditional statements that need nothing more than a period to complete them.  We live most of our lives in the "ordinary" mode and need only to signal others when we're through with a thought or action.

Why don't we live more in the exclamation mode?  Why are the question marks not more numerous?  Is it simply because we must stretch a little farther on the keyboard to access them, or is it because we must stretch our spirits more than what we feel comfortable with?  (OopsQ1@!  I ended that last sentence with a preposition.) 

History remembers men and women who lived their most noble moments in the exclamation or question modes.  They changed the world not with the ordinary and bland, but with actions that require powerful punctuation to describe them.  Live your life so that others require both pinkies to capture your essence!  (No mistakes there!, I’m getting used to this!)  Live with passion and exploration!

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