November 10, 2011
So I noticed that there is a key on my keyboard that never gets used. The Grave Accent and Tilde key. It's above the Tab key and beside the 1 key. Maybe you've only now noticed it yourself as you're reading this. It's probably been on keyboards for ages. It's useless to me and I question if we really need it to be the way that it is.
Firstly though, to be clear, I still think that there should be a key there. I understand that some video games require that key for various specific functions and hey, there's no need to mess that up. What I think would be good is that if I was typing something, this key should make a different symbol other than an accent that doesn't even go over top of any letter. Maybe a bullet, a smiley, or even those little scissors that suggest that you should cut something out, should replace the top corner. I'm just thinking something that gets used more commonly.
Sometimes characters just get old and obsolete. Take the index character, for example - It's awesome! It's a hand with the index finger pointing to important areas on a page. It's a bit more than a letter, it's a partial drawing. The only problem with it is that I think typewriters and early computers had a problem with its fine detail. It was dropped and the public forgot it, I suppose.
What I propose is that the world moves the grave accent and tilde characters to the Glyph category. People still need them. They are used in computer programming languages but I'm not sure how frequently. As I write this, I'm likely quite ignorant to just how often programmers are using this key. I still think that they can go in the same place as copyright symbols, trademark symbols and fractions. Still obtainable if you occasionally need them on a page, but not taking up prime real estate on everyone's keyboards.