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The Mystery of the L

Do you do word jumbles?

Our newspaper has a feature where they show a cartoon that presents a riddle. Along the left side are five blocks with letters in them – letters that make no sense in the order presented, but if you re-arrange them, they make a word. You then use certain re-arranged letters from the side column to form an answer to the riddle.

I love the Jumble, but hate rearranging the letters. So I usually just try to solve the riddle by analyzing the cartoon, without unscrambling anything, and I’m successful a lot, but not always.

You can imagine, then, how maddening it is that I’ve been presented with a real life Jumble, to wit: the letters on my computer keyboard are wearing off. This makes sense since I’ve had this thing for at least 10 years and have typed tens of thousands of thousands of pages on it, but still…

If they were all wearing off, that would be fine. If all the “big” letters – the stars of the alphabet – were wearing off, that would be cool too. But of the keys are in perfect shape except for seven: the E, the S, the D, the C, the M, the N, and the L.

What the L? Since when did L become a major player? I understand why the E is almost gone – it’s ubiquitous. But the L?

So what “L”  words am I typing, day in and day out, book in and book out, with realizing it? And why is the “A” in such good shape? And the “I”? Granted, the O is starting to disappear around the edges, but you should see the T! Perfect as the day it was delivered from the factory.

You might be wondering how I even noticed this phenomenon, since I don’t really look at the keyboard (if I were a hunt-and-peck typist, I’d be in big trouble). Well, I don’t look often, but one can’t help but glance. And the pattern left on the L key now looks exactly like the one to its right – the colon. Yep, my “L” now looks like this “:”

So if I happen to look at the keyboard, I instinctively move my hands over because I think my L finger is on the “:” – disaster ensues.

So let’s play Word Jumble. Why the heck is my “L” wearing out? Which word could possibly be wreaking such carnage?

Figure it out for me, p:ease?

Kate

P.S. My son recently roped me into playing Scramble with Friends, which is  just a Jumble in disguise. I lose – a lot. Mortifying since words are supposedly my livelihood. Oh we::…

And P.P.S. good news – my husband has an extra keyboard, since he uses an ergonomic one, so I can replace this worn-out thing with a brand new (and virtually identical, since both are Dells) new one. I’ll be sad to let my current one go, but I never really bonded it with. Why? Because the one I had before it – more than a decade ago – was a clicky one. Man, did I love that keyboard. This one’s so quiet. It’s not natura:.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
mizkit
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
I think it's that the ring fingers rest more heavily than the pinkies do, so the L takes a beating that's beyond its usage expectations. My pinkie barely touches the actual "A" on the "A" key--it more rests in the lower right corner of that key--whereas my ring fingertips are right on top of the L and the S, even if S wasn't a big leaguer anyway.

The only disappointment with my magnificent writing chair keyboard is that it's so well made that the letters have never faded at all, not in 7 years and I don't know how many books. I touch type, and I love having keyboards with the letters worn away, so I'm always faintly disappointed that they're so well made on that particular keyboard.

OTOH, I'll probably die if the keyboard ever does, so it might be just as well. :)
katedonovan
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
Re:
Oh that makes perfect sense! Mystery solved. So I just saw your comment about the new Oz movie. It's the first positive comment I've seen! And I appreciate it because I've been dying to go, but had been forewarned more than once.
Thanks!
mizkit
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
I thought the new Oz movie did a pretty good job of SensaWunda and managing to be something that made total sense as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz and I also think one should remember that the target audience is 6-10 year olds, not cynical been there done it all got the t-shirt adults.
mizkit
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
And I am glad to solve your mystery. :) I sat there with my fingers on the keyboard a moment, considering it all, and then I was like, "...I can *feel* that the weight is different on my ring fingers! That's gotta be it!" :)
katedonovan
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
you're so smart! I always jump to "It must be magic! or sinister forces..."
mizkit
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, also: I am also very very bad at Scramble and Jumble and Scrabble and all those word games. I look at the 5 or 7 or whateve letters I have and invariably go, "Oh! I could spell 'antidisestablishmentarianism' if I only had an D, six A's, a couple of Es, a T, and a completely different board that it woudl fit on..." :)
katedonovan
Mar. 28th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
That's it exactly. Plus, I'm stupified by Q.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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