Index finger blues
By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 12, 1999
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I officially give up. I'm too old, too gnarly and too set in my pedantic, petty little ways to shake my QWERTY keyboard habit. I've tried for weekends on end, forsaking the great outdoors and other things I hate, to learn the Dvorak keyboard layout -- with practically no success. Pick up a new computer language on the fly? No problem. Recite complex scenes from hip movies after a single viewing? I'm your man. But get my right pinkie to think "s" instead of a semicolon? The Dark Side consumes me, Luke.
You want flies with that?
"Yum. Pizza. Hungry," I thought as I haphazardly clicked around this site. On closer examination, the image ticking my taste buds was that of poxviridae, or the smallpox virus to the layman. It is an infected world out there, folks, and if you're not compulsively washing your hands after reading this one, there is a career waiting for you in one of the unkempt restaurants where I dine.
Sounds of home
Cor blimey, me old china! Here is a right proper site that'll teach you to speak proper like. Init? My apologies. Normal American English will be restored for the remainder of this story. If one of your UK-originating chums has ever used words like "git," "courgette" or "butty" and you haven't a clue as to what the poor devil is trying to communicate, this nifty site could be for you. It lists columns of Amerispeak with their equivalent Britspeak. The only thing missing is phrases with the words used in context. Otherwise it is very well done.
Just the Factoids, ma'am
Oh, I do love a spot of trivia -- boring, inconsequential facts that often fail to amuse and sometimes annoy beyond belief. If you're of the same persuasion, this site has more ammo than an NRA convention. Did you know that Florida is not the southernmost state? The Hawaiians have us beat. Pretty annoying, huh?
Brilliant eye candy
If there is one thing I really like, it's typefaces. Type has been one of the great underrated art forms since Gutenberg did his movable thing in the 15th century. Good typography should be transparent to the viewer and convey the writer's message effortlessly. StudioMotiv really understands type, as well as design, and has built a beautiful offering based on the humble alphabet. The time line is quite brilliant and the explanations make an old font designer like myself misty. It requires the most recent versions of Macromedia's Shockwave and Flash but you can download them from this site if you're not current.