The Shift Key FAQ
by Alan Meiss (email@example.com)
Q: My shift keys have little arrows on them. Does this mean the real shift keys are located above them, and these keys are just little signs to point them out?
A: Nope, they're the real mccoy. Those little arrows mean "up", as in "look up at the screen". Your keyboard is telling you to learn to touch type and quit looking at your fingers.
Q: What happens if I press both shift keys?
A: Even bigger letters may show up on your screen. You should not use this feature, however, because these letters are also brighter, and may cause screen burn-in, which may be particularly embarrassing if you were typing something naughty at the time. You might consider obtaining the author's Shift Key Burn-In Protector program for only $139.95. Or you might not, it's your computer, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Q: my religion prohibits the use of shift keys. how can i type capital letters and punctuation.
A: Discuss alternatives to the shift key with your spiritual advisor. Perhaps your deity would not be angered by repeated use of the caps lock key, or maybe you can retain a consultant to depress the shift for you. You might also consider replacing punctuation marks that require the use of shift keys with lower case expressions; replace ? with "huh" and ! with "zowie".
Q: I PRESSED SHIFT AND IT"S STUCK DOWN NOW!
A: Do small children with a fondness for peanut butter use your keyboard frequently? If so, you may want to clean it off for more reliable operation.
- First, disconnect your keyboard by gripping each of its ends firmly and pulling as hard as you can.
- Next, immerse the keyboard in warm water and scrub thoroughly with your favorite lemon-scented detergent and lots of steel wool.
- Finally, you need to dry the keyboard. Either dry it to touch with a handheld blowdryer, or place it it the dryer for not less than 60 minutes. Be sure to clean the lint screen when you are finished.
Q: Why are there are no "shift" keys on my keyboard, but there are two keys labelled "hif"?
A: Again, you may want to consider cleaning your keyboard, and washing your hands more frequently for that matter.
Q: Are there shift keys on my Macintosh?
A: Yes, although instead of the notation "shift", the key may be labelled with an excited Mac face, something like :O. Press this key to use shift, and be thankful you're using a friendly Mac instead of a mean old PC with all them confusin' words 'n stuff on it.
Q: I'm sick of pushing the shift key every single time I want big letters. Is there any other way to do this?
A: This is the modern age of convenience, and you may be able to activate the shift key merely with the power of your voice! Check to see whether your computer is equipped with speech-recognition equipment by saying the word "shift" very clearly and slowly into its microphone. Then watch the keyboard closely to see if the shift key moves down. Note that you may have to repeat this action several times to "train" the computer to recognize your voice before the feature works reliably.
Q: There are two shift keys, which should I use?
A: Avoid unnecessary wear on either shift key by alternating between the two. Keep track of your usage of each key so that you press them in equal amounts. Your keyboard may be equipped with a small notepad; you should use this to make little tally marks in two columns for each time you shift. Remember, it's better to go to a little trouble than wind up with a broken shift key.
Q: Why are the shift keys bigger than the other keys?
A: They aren't. This is simply an optical illusion. Just as the moon appears much larger when it is close to the horizon, your shift keys look larger because of their proximity to other keys. To verify this, go out in a large field at night with your keyboard, place it in an upright position, and view it from a distance of 200 yards. Sure enough, the keys all look the same size!
Q: If I press the shift key at the wrong time, or too many times, will my computer explode?
A: No. Well, generally no. Not unless you are using a NEC laptop. Or vt100 terminal emulation. But even then, hardly ever. Really, don't worry about it. Forget I mentioned it. Just type softly. Move along, next question....
Q: No matter what I do, the shift key just doesn't seem to work. What's wrong?
A: Have you ever considered that the problem may not be your keyboard, the problem may be YOU? Perhaps God himself has suspended the operation of these keys to send you a message that you have strayed from the path of righteousness. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your life. Before rushing blindly ahead with a lot of shifting, consult the spiritual advisor of your choice for help in dealing with any unresolved issues in your relationship with the Almighty.