Gene enters a new period of discovery

Gene Weingarten on

WASHINGTON -- I don't want to brag, but for a man of my age I am pretty technologically savvy. For example, I recently made a sophisticated observation about electronics. I called my editor, Tom the Butcher, to complain about how inefficiently designed the keyboard is on an iPhone.

"How so?" he asked.

"When you're sending a text," I explained, "and you are done with a sentence, you cannot just hit a period. The idiots at Apple haven't put a period on the same screen as the letters. Instead, you have to switch to a second screen, then hit the period, and then go back to the first screen to continue your message."

"No, you don't," he said.

Do too.

"Create a text sentence, but don't put a period on the end of it. Just stop at the last letter."


I did.

"Now hit the space bar twice."

I did. A period occurred, right where it was supposed to be. This was a shortcut I somehow had not learned in my five-plus years with my iPhone, even though it was literally one keystroke away from what I was already typing.

That was the beginning of a Bad Age day for me. And for Tom, too, actually. When Tom mentioned my stupidity to his 30-year-old daughter, Emily, a lawyer, she responded:


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