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I'm just copying my father

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Small Changes

Draft 2

By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m currently studying in London.1 As a result, much of the typing I’m doing here is being done on keyboards with the UK’s key layout.2

Some of these changes make complete sense to me, like the fact that the pound symbol3 is much easier to type.4 Unfortunately, it’s Shift-3, not Shift-4.5

Other changes are slightly harder for me to deal with unconsciously. Next to the single quote key ’, they added in a key for pound and tilde. Instead of shift-single giving you double, it instead returns the @ sign. Thankfully, shift-2 therefore gives us ".6 Additionally, backslash is next to the left shift key, and the vertical line7 is shift backslash.8 Where the backslash should9 be, there is nothing. Those changes have messed me up more than once when typing a password.10

I’m also switching to using more Windows machines.11 Commands, especially in the browser I use, are sometimes very different, which is an adjustment. Overall though, those are the main changes I’ve really noticed.

The moral of the story is that I apparently don’t notice the big differences,12 but I do notice the small ones.13

Am I missing the forest for the trees? I prefer to think that I’m missing the branches for the leaves. I still see that I’m in society,14 and even the mutually intelligible15 part of the world,16 but not the differences between here and home,17 except where they’re a little different,18 as many are beginning to be in this lovely start of fall.19 Also, as much as I wish I could claim this whole article was a set up for that autumn20 metaphor, it was completely unplanned.

Draft 1

I’m currently studying in London. As a result, much of the typing I’m doing here is being done on keyboards with the UK’s key layout.21 Some of these changes make complete sense to me, like the fact that instead of a dollar symbol22 being Shift-number, it’s the pound symbol.23,24 Unfortunately, it’s Shift-3, not Shift-4.

Others are slightly harder for me to deal with. Next to the single quote key ’, they added in a key for pound and tilde. Instead of shift-single giving you double, it instead returns the @ sign. Thankfully, shift-2 therefore gives us ". Additionally, backslash is next to the left shift key. That’s messed me up more than once when typing a password.25

I’m also switching to using more Windows machines.26 Commands, especially in the browser I use, are sometimes very different, which is an adjustment. The moral of the story is that I apparently don’t notice the big differences,27 but I do notice the small ones. Am I missing the forest for the trees? I like to think I’m missing the branches for the leaves. I can still see that I’m in society,28 and even the mutually intelligible29 part of the world,30 but not the difference between here and home,31 except where they’re a little different.32 Also, as much as I wish I could claim this whole article was a set up for that autumn33 metaphor, it was completely unplanned.


  1. for those of you on the other side of the pond, that’s why I haven’t been visible

  2. I assume, given that it would make sense for each country to have their own keyboard layout.\sarcasm

  3. £

  4. fun fact: LaTeXdoesn’t recognize typing the pound mark, and instead requires the command of \pounds

  5. the $ in USA keyboards

  6. so the @ and " signs basically just traded position

  7. which I have never once known the purpose of

  8. like in the US

  9. based on prior experience

  10. hmmm does saying I use a shift key in multiple passwords give away some security? Especially since using capital letters is a recommendation, I doubt it.

  11. which is sad

  12. noise, people, the fact that a road was torn up, pipes underneath were fixed, and the road was operational again within 3 days of them beginning, the weather, the food, everything else I’m forgetting because it’s slipped my mind

  13. keyboard layout, computer commands, ending statements in yeah instead of nothing

  14. the forest

  15. to me, a monolingual Midwestern American

  16. the trees

  17. the branches

  18. the leaves

  19. autumn

  20. fall

  21. at least I hope that I’m not just surrounded by psychopaths

  22. $

  23. £

  24. fun fact: LaTeXdoesn’t recognize typing the pound mark, and instead requires the command of \pounds

  25. hmmm does saying I use a shift key in multiple passwords give away some security? Especially since it’s a recommendation, I doubt it.

  26. which is sad

  27. the noise, people, the fact that a road was torn up, pipes underneath were fixed, and the road was operational again within 3 days of them beginning, the weather, the food, everything else I’m forgetting because it’s slipped my mind

  28. the forest

  29. to me, a monolingual Midwestern American

  30. the trees

  31. the branches

  32. the leaves

  33. fall