Thursday, 22 March 2012

The importance of NumLock

I was trying to write the word "empañada*", which requires [Ed: or possibly doesn't, depending on the sense, thank you comments] one of these: ñ. Naturally, this doesn't appear on my keyboard.

Like most not-especially-special characters, it's easy to produce it using its numeric code by holding down ALT and typing (in this case) 0241 on the number pad.

But you have to have Number Lock set. I didn't, and one of the resulting keystrokes turned my computer's display upside-down.

I had no idea at all that my computer could do that.


Anonymous said...

MsH wrote "I was trying to write the word "empañada*", which requires one of these: ñ."

Actually, it doesn't. It is spelt empanada.

Anonymous said...

Alt 164 gives the same ñ :o)

Anonymous said...

I hope your keyboard gymnastics weren't in vain - empañada in Spanish means misted or clouded, like a bathroom mirror.

On the other hand, and far more interesting, empanada (no ñ) is one of those yummy pastry thingies that happily seem to be on offer at more and more milongas nowadays.

Hope you're not still having to stand on your head to type :-)

msHedgehog said...

No? I did look it up the first time, and found it written about equally both ways at the top of recipes, so presumed that people just don't always bother with the character that doesn't appear on English keyboards. My hearing of the two alternatives is no means reliable, so doubtless you are right.

msHedgehog said...

On reflection, I suppose at least some people who know both words may write it this way at the top of recipes (maybe as an 'incorrection' in the Language Log sense) because they reanalyse it on the basis that the filling is wrapped in a pastry in the same sense that something might be wrapped in cloud.

msHedgehog said...

And my screen is the right way up again, thank you. I did briefly consider posting a witty status on Facebook from an upside-down point of view, but it seemed much more difficult than fixing the problem.

Dhamaka said...

brilliant! Now I know what to do when I next find the need to procrastinate