cAPS lOCK

What use does the caps lock key have on a modern computer keyboard? Seriously.

The caps lock key is nothing but a pain in the arse.

Back in the days of typewriters to do a capital letter meant holding down the shift key with ones little finger. This caused the entire set of keys to move down, making the capital letters being the ones that struck the paper. It was held in place by a spring, so it took quite a bit of effort For doing a lot of capital letters for an important heading, such as “THE MINUTES OF THE HAMILTON EAST LADIES BOWLING CLUB 1968 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING” the typists little finger would get pretty sore holding down that big heavy shift button for all that time. So the shift-lock button was invented so the capital letters could be locked in place for ease of typing that eye-catching heading.

But then came computers and the flexibility of layout with word processing programs. No longer did people have to resort to capitals for an important heading. Italics, bold and different sizes of headings and different fonts could achieve that.

And more significantly, the shift button, instead of having the weight of all the metal keys and a spring, it only has a light spring underneath it. The little finger has no trouble holding down the shift key and typing sentences.

But still, sticking with the convention of the old typewriter keyboard, the same one that has commonly neighbouring letters places apart so the keys don’t jam, the shift key remains.

I never use it. Or if I do, it’s by accident. Like when I go to type a capital A and accidentally hit the caps lock key, and suddenly ALL THE TEXT IS IN CAPITALS. iT TAKES ME A WHILE TO NOTICE IT, THEN i DO, i CURSE AND TAKE THE CAPS LOCK OFF. You will note the feature of the lower case ‘i’s, which is a result of trying to capitalise when in caps lock.

It was something of a revelation when I discovered I never ever used the caps lock key. I don’t use the SysRq, or F5 – F12, but they actually can have uses (I just have to find out what, especially that SysRq…) and none of those keys can get accidentally activated.

So this is what I demand: I would like to see the caps lock key taken off keyboards. I want to see an end to tHIS. No one I know has been able to come up with one good reason for caps lock to stay. It must go.

Join me, friends, in ridding the world of the menace of cAPS lOCK.

Postscript: I’m now using a Mac, which while it still does have a useless capslock key, it doesn’t let tHIS happen.

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