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When “U” and “I” Are Side-by-Side.

Let us therefore make every effort

to do what leads to peace

and to mutual edification.

Romans 14:19

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?

When U and I Are Side by Side.-2-picmonkey

~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.

When U and I Are Side by Side-3-picmonkey

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.


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