a new key

I’ve been typing (not well, four fingers) for forty years or so. I’ve had this particular keyboard for over a year. This morning I noticed a key I had never seen before. Well, obviously I had seen it–it’s just below Backspace and above Enter. But I never apprehended it. It’s this: \ |. The latter mark, the vertical line, is actually expressed as a stylized colon on the key. It’s called the pipe. It is used, I learned, to filter out email addresses and on the command lines of computer programs. And that’s as much as I care to know about that. The slash (lower case on the key) leans opposite of what we’re used to seeing. It’s called a backslash as opposed to a forward slash or vergule. The vergule (from the Latin virgula, little rod) is also called a solidus, an oblique, a slant, and in Britain a stroke.