A Fond Farewell to Caps Lock

Google wisely ditches button on its new notebook, writes Christopher Beam
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2010 11:51 AM CST
Caps Lock could soon be history, if Google has its way.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Good riddance to the Caps Locks key, missing on the keyboard of the new Google Cr-48 notebook computer, writes Christopher Beam in Slate. Caps Lock is "an outdated scourge" from the manual typewriter era, he says, now mostly used by "enraged Internet commenters and the computer-illiterate elderly." Not that he expects eradicating the Caps Lock to make people any nicer: "You can also say nasty things in lowercase."

It's far from the only key on Beam's hit list, which includes the function key, Scroll lock, and the Pause and Break keys—all "useless to the average user." Even Google's Caps Lock replacement, a Search key, could be a pain. Hit it accidentally, and a new browser tab pops open. But ultimately, this move is more about language than computing. Not only is capitalization on the decline in the information age, but so is grammar and spelling. "Does Google intend to overhaul English itself?" asks Beam. "The keyboard on the new Cr-48 notebook offers a hint: The letters are all in lowercase."

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