As I mentioned earlier, I have my work computer in hand and have been working a little bit on it. Which. Is. Killing. Me. And I want to tell you all why. Full disclosure – there’s a lot of whining ahead. My work computer came with a Swedish keyboard. Even though all the work is done in English, it’s got a Swedish keyboard. And, after almost 30 years of regular typing, it turns out that muscle memory is a hard thing to change. Specifically 3 main areas:
The top keyboard (annotated in yellow) is my work computer (Swedish). The bottom (annotated in red) is my personal one (US).
- The shift key is half the size on the left side – the only side I use. So, basically every time I’ve gone to capitalize something, I’ve typed a < or > instead.
- The dash and question mark keys are reversed. WTF for?
- The return key is vertical instead of horizontal. So, yes, just about every time I go to type a return, I get an apostrophe instead.
These variations have had a HUGE impact on my ability to communicate. For somebody who types 40-50 WPM, that’s a LOT of extra re-work. That sounds dramatic, I know. But for everybody that relies on writing for a living, you know this is a huge PITA.
Anyway, this is surprisingly challenging, and might be second only to language in terms of barriers to feeling “normal”. And, yes, I’d love some cheese with my whine. 😉