When “U” and “I” Are Side-by-Side.
Let us therefore make every effort
to do what leads to peace
and to mutual edification.
Text messages from a middle eastern friend whose native language is Arabic, but whose second language is English, often present me with a translation challenge:
U am here now (Um, “I am here now”?)
So u will tell what happened with me that time… (How in the world can I tell U what happened when I have no idea what it was that happened to U?)
It wasn’t until I studied the keyboard arrangement (exhibit A) that I realized how she’d made the error. She’d intended “I” and hit “U”. Because they are neighboring keys.
However it came to be that the letters on a keyboard were arranged in the order that they are, I doubt any consideration was given for the fact that one might, while in a rush and without one’s reading glasses, inadvertently type the letter “I”, rather than its neighbor, “U”.
This is particularly disturbing when the word SHUT was intended. Yeah, true. I fell victim to the close proximity of U and I in what was meant to read as a simple prayer in a group email – “May God open and shut doors…” Sadly, my lofty sentiment didn’t arrive in the recipients’ inboxes looking that way 🙁
A humiliating, typographical error!
So, Houston, we have a problem.
~Shouldn’t this threat to clear communication be eliminated?
~Shouldn’t there be a world-wide movement to alter this standard keyboard arrangement in order that future alphabetical blunders such as these won’t happen?
~Shouldn’t one of these letters be moved two rows down where, if placed beside, say, the letter X, the emergence of unintentional profanity wouldn’t stand a chance?
Or…should U and I realize the value in their differences and learn to get along?
Because when U and I are ordered properly, the message is no longer cryptic.
Ah, much better.
U and I are necessary characters, persnickety keyboard neighbors who must accept and cooperate with God’s providential placement.
Thorough consideration should be given before striking U or I. Which one best communicates the point, U or I? And could it be that U and I need to give way to the more qualified, neighboring letter O? …say, when the intended word is SHOT in reference to a law enforcement episode or a successful hunting trip.
Turns out that U and I can learn a lesson from T and R. Their keyboard placement has resulted in typos, as well.
I’ve come to accept and appreciate the fact that U and I have been placed side-by-side.
Still, it’ll be awhile before I scribe a prayer asking God to open and SHUT doors.