This isn't about "straight keys" specifically, but about CW operations in general. I'm pretty active on CW and notice something occurring fairly lately that I've never heard before in more than fifty years of CW operation. It's something really silly and easy to fix. I hear operators send CQ and then just STOP. No "K," no indication of the operator switching back to receive. Nothing. Isn't that silly? We use "K" at the end of a CQ because it's an "invitation to transmit." AR might be acceptable, but IMO "K" is better because of what it means. AR only means "end of transmission," it doesn't indicate you're necessarily listening after that. Some other silly stuff: I hear ops who start transmitting before the station they're in contact with has finished. It's happened to me many times -- this is also something pretty new, to me. I might call W1XYZ de WB2WIK and by the time I've sent WB2WI the other station is already transmitting. Obviously, that means he didn't hear the "K" at the end of my callsign, so he has my call wrong. Just silly. I hear ops sending "BTU" as "back to you," which is also something I never heard 20-30-40-50 years ago. To me, BTU is a temperature quantity. If you want to turn it over, a simple "HW?" does the trick and actually means something (it's short for "how copy?" which is always good to ask, since with QSB and variable band conditions, it's easy to lose someone in the middle of a QSO). I hear ops giving reports in funny order. We can all do whatever we wish, but there's a reason for sending a report and location pretty soon, as it advises the other op if you're really hearing him and also which way to turn his antenna (assuming he has a directional, rotary antenna -- like I do), especially if signals are weak and can be improved by rotation. I always send (first transmission) RST-QTH-OP in that order, and right up front before anything else, and think this makes sense. It's what we all "used to do" back in the day. Maybe the difference is a lot of new code ops are just getting started without having listened to hundreds or thousands of other CW QSOs, as most of us new Novices had done. My first contact in ham radio, as a Novice in 1965, was after already "copying" many hundreds of contacts (before being licensed) to see what others were doing. Perhaps we've lost a bit of that.