SURVEY SAYS: ‘Missing’ Keyboard Letters

Obviously, I type a lot, given my job. And, I’ve noticed that some letters are either entirely or partially rubbed off—leading me to think these are the letters I most use.

On my keyboard, the letters E, S, and N are completely rubbed off, and the letters R, D, C, and M are partially rubbed off.


Last week, I thought it would be interesting to see what letters are most likely to be rubbed off on PC or laptop keyboards of NewsDash readers. The vast majority of responding readers (85.5%) indicated they do have letters on their keyboard that are either partially or entirely rubbed off.


Among those partially rubbed off, S was by far the most common (49.1%), this was followed by L and M at 35.8% each, E at 34%, D at 28.3% and A at 22.6%. Among the least likely letters to be partially rubbed off were O (15.1%), F (9.4%), K, R, T and V (7.5% each), I (3.8%) and H, J and X (1.9% each).


Among letters completely rubbed off, N was most likely, at 56.2%. This was followed by A (37.5%) and E (34.4%). Less likely to be entirely rubbed off were S (18.7%), C (15.6%), D, M and T (12.5% each), L, R and V (9.4%), I (6.2%) and F, H, K, O and Z (3.1% each).


Some of the verbatim comments readers chose to leave were funny. I had a fun time reading the comments. Several suggested that it’s not the amount of use, but other things that make letters rub off on a keyboard. Several readers listed other keys that have faded, such as the “Backspace” or “Enter” key, among others, and a couple of readers noted they have a worn out section on their space key. Editor’s Choice goes to the clever reader who wrote: “With M and N sitting right next door to each other, I get comfused if I’n looking at ny keyboard for which is which!”


Thanks to all who participated in the survey!



Another notable thing is my space bar. All the keys have a slight texture to them. The space bar has become quite smooth where my thumb lands.

Since my keyboard is only a month old, none are rubbed off yet. I can’t say the same for my prior keyboard.

I have no idea why only M and N are rubbed partially off but all other letters look to be in perfect shape. M isn’t even in our company name…

It’s not so much the letters it’s about the great big divot on my spacebar. Apparently I write a lot of blank spaces!

S, A, N, and E are all on their way out…and along with them, my sanity!

I wonder if it’s the pressure I use on those keys more than the frequency with which I use them? It would seem if it were frequency, E would have been gone long ago!

Except for the “E”, it appears the most faded letters are all on the home row

My keyboard was replaced 6 months ago because the IT guy insisted that having have the markings rubbed off made it impossible for him to help me! Today the new keyboard is only missing 1 full letter marking and have some on their way out.

Interesting question. I’ve also noticed that the shiny keys are the ones that I use the most.

no secret here. it’s the one point letters from scrabble that are the most used.

With M and N sitting right next door to each other, I get comfused if I’n looking at ny keyboard for which is which!

Have no idea why, but glad I learned typing in high school and don’t need to look at the keys!

My keyboards never last long enough for any of the keys to rub off!

No letters are completely gone. The two other keys that seem to have a lot of evidence of use on them are my space bar and the backspace keys. That space bar is very large but I must hit it in about the same place all the time.

My space bar, shift key and enter key are definitely worn bare; no more texture on the keys!

Never thought I used those keys (c, n, m) that much. I would have guessed “e” and “t” would have been partially rubbed off. Maybe they are just stuck on better!

I worked for a Company that processed thousands of Claims and Customer Service requests daily. Many of the employees recording these interactions via computer keyboard would lotion their hands. After a relatively short period of time, their keyboard letters would be completely erased. Apparently the lotion they were using broke down the keyboard lettering. This was ten to fifteen years ago.

I recently got a new keyboard, so I’m a poor sample, however it already contains enough crumbs for an emergency lunch.

Does the Backspace key count? I use if often when I tone down some of my emails!

My keyboard is only about 18 months old. Since no other letters are partially rubbed off, I’m wondering if a portion of the “C” was always missing and I never noticed it.

Luckily none of my letters have rubbed off yet, but the outer keys are the ones that take the most beating…the shift, space, enter and backspace keys are pretty worn down…all movement keys – no typing, all movement! 🙂

I have an older second computer that is used at work to access certain websites and I’ve worn off the same letters!

My comma has also rubbed off completely. Sad that I had to hit the keys to determine what letters were gone.

I use an ergo keyboard and even though E and S are partially rubbed off, N and H – which have a larger top space on my keyboard – show significant signs of “wear.”

It appears that I type more forcefully with my left hand or just write the word “fads” frequently.

Must do a lot of “copy”, “paste”!

I have no clue on why these letters are rubbed off. I would have thought “t” for “the” or “r” for research and/or respondent.

Is this a thing?

Strange that H was the first to go. Interestingly, it’s right in the middle of the keyboard, along with T and N, which are also gone. Location, location, location?

Surprisingly none of the letters are even close to be rubbed off but did you know there are several words you use your left hand for more than your right? 🙂

Naturally it is the vowels and for some reason the L.

When letters are rubbed off completely, time for a new keyboard!

It’s always a joy when I start typing and THINK I’m on the right letters!

thankfully I’m not a “hunt and peck” typer….I would be lost…..

I was surprised to see the backspace and delete keys still looked good as I use them both – a lot

I thought it was just me! I’ve replaced my keyboard every few years because of this — thanks for making me feel “normal”!

Apparently I change PCs (and PC keyboards) more often than you… but, if I were to keep one longer, I would not be surprised to find some characters faded – though not the ones you mentioned. For me, it would be the ;-} combination…