Written in Dust: The Keyboard Speaks

“The faintest ink is more powerful than the greatest memory.”

As I was dusting my keyboard yesterday, I noticed a more stubborn type of dust on some of the keys, which I didn’t rub off: it was precious. Why? Because it told a very interesting tale…

Of the keys in the alphabet, Q had a significantly greater covering of the dust than any of the other keys, most of which were clean. TAB was a bit cleaner than the CAPS LOCK key, indicating clearly the usage of these. So I will try to draw inferences out of the patterns now.

Inference 1: I am mostly a cheerful person.
) was cleaner than (, indicating that I’d made the happy face 🙂 more than the long face :(. A little less used symbol was |, which means I’m more often sure of my emotions (I make the 😐 face when I am confused or unsure of what to say).

Inference 2: I am a textbook grammarian.
There was dust on the top part of the ‘ button, which means I press it with SHIFT more than without. That is, I use the ” more than ‘. Also, my SHIFT buttons are very clean indicating my love for the correct case. * was mostly unused.

Inference 3: Though I’ve been in a long-distance relation before as well, it’s from my current girl that I have learned how to kiss on chat.
The dust on * was wearing thin and looked polished. : ?* is how I kiss.

Inference 4: I have a love of the exclaimed!
Of all the numeric keys, 1 was the cleanest. Unsurprisingly, I use the ! mark a lot.

Inference 5: I am an escapist as well.
No, I’m not. I just press the ESC key a lot. Maybe I am, but the key has nothing to do with it, I bet. Or maybe Lacan was right: our unconscious is structured like language.



  1. Rajiv are blog buddies.
    Apropos, Written in the Dust, I think you are putting far too much stock in the “key implications!”

    Yup, writing different things: like blogs, love notes, serious essays, or novel chapters, etc., would all lead to different “dust patterns” on the keys, no?
    Just my $.02 cents worth. Take care, Charlie

    1. I am far from putting too much stock into the “key implications” as you call it. It was just a passing observation, but still one that holds its weight since in the other cases, I would not use the keys I’ve mentioned as much as the keys of the alphabet. But thanks for the critique, it was received with an open ear.

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