Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Uppercase and Lowercase


My daughter and I were watching the show "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" on Astro Channel the other day when there was one question about uppercase and lowercase letters.

"What's that?" my daughter asked, and I explained that uppercase letters were capital letters and lowercase letters were small letters in the alphabet...because that's how they were arranged on the typewriter.

The shift button on the computer keyboard works pretty much the same way to switch between big and small letters.

In the good old days (am I that old already!?) before the widespread use of personal computers, I remember being very good at using the typewriter. My parents owned a shop selling electrical goods and I remember going there after school and keeping myself occupied until it was time for them to close shop and we could all go home together. It was then that I learned to use the typewriter, and I would just type and type to pass time.


My children had not seen a typewriter before (and I don't think many children nowadays even know what it is!), and one day we were at Cash Converters, a store selling second-hand goods, when they first laid their eyes on a manual typewriter. My daughter being the hands-on person, decided to poke the buttons and was quite thrilled to hear the clackety-clack until she pressed a button that sent the cylindrical thingy moving very quickly and stopping with a loud "ping!". That frightened my kids, and my hubby and I had a good laugh to see them running away from the typewriter.

It's great to have the modern's much easier on the fingers...those who have used the manual typewriter would understand what I mean.

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