Thursday, February 17, 2011
Move the Semicolon!
It's high time the world realized the underwhelming performance of the semicolon and moved it to a more appropriate place on the keyboard. Why should such a under-utilized and misunderstood punctuation mark occupy an important space on the keyboard?
Take a look at your keyboard right now. Place your fingers where they should be placed as if you were a good typist. All of your fingers are touching popular, often-used letters except for your right pinky; that is placed above the semicolon. Why don't they move another letter over there instead? Maybe slide the "W" over to the semicolon spot and move the semicolon/colon key out of harm's reach. Hell, the semicolon probably wouldn't place in top 5 if the AP had a "Best Punctuation Mark" poll. This is just speculation, but I'd place it 6th behind the period, comma, apostrophe, quote marks and the @.
These keyboards were designed over a hundred years ago when the semicolon was first introduced. Writers and English professors probably had high hopes for it and thought it would catch on like gangbusters. But that didn't happen and now it's high time for a change; revolutions were started with less.