N, NNNNNNNNNNNNNN! A Thousand Times N!

Mac Laptop Users, I ask you: Which letter on your keyboard is the most worn out?

I ask because I have two Macs made of the most current material. One is a Powerbook G4, which I keep because of some non-transferrable software; and one on which I currently type, a MacBook Pro. This laptop is about 13 months old. And I use it daily. The other one is, uh, older. I don’t know how old exactly, but that’s not important. What’s important for this topic is that on both, the most used (i.e. worn away) key is the N key.

If I were a horse, I’d say: “Nnnnnnnnnneigh.”

What’s UP with the N-key? Is it the N-word of the keyboard world? Is it because for old home row-method typists like myself the N-key is an index-finger key?  We all know the index finger may not be the most expressive, but it’s by far the strongest. And then again I wonder, is it because I’m right handed? Or is it because the N-key is so much more popular than my other right-handed index keys (H,J,Y,U and I).

I had to close my eyes and type those keys. And in doing so, I realized, there’s no way I could recite the letters of a keyboard and/or tell anyone which fingers touch which keys. It’s totally a rote-mind/finger thing.

I wonder, do my daughters feel the same way about their texting fingers touching their cell phone keys as I feel about my laptop keys? Is anyone teaching a texting efficiency class, or do keyboards just come naturally to children born in the mid-Nineteen Nineties???


Because I’m a SCRABBLE player, it occurred to me to consider the value of each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet and, of course, it’s no surprise that the oft-used N tile is worth only one point. So are all the vowels. Other consonants worth one point are  L, R, S and T.

So far, my 13-month-old computer is R and T clear . . . however, S is a wee bit worn. The L-key is definitely showing some signs of abuse, but it’s nothing compared to the N. Nope. (Even M—Ns next door neighbor—is looking far shabbier). And each of these cheap Scrabble letters, particularly the S, is ssssssssssorry and sssssssssad on the Powerbook G4.

So what’s the bottom line?

The bottom row of my keyboard has nothing where the N should be. And I have No point. Not really. . .

. . . Nuts.

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