Isn't it the other way around? Ctrl+A does nothing on my machine, because I haven't set it up to do anything.
I think the problem is that most OS's were designed with programmers in mind, then have had a kind of 'user-friendly' face lift pasted over fundamentals that have remained more or less the same. I can see why non-computer people don't want to deal with that - you engage most of the time with the user-friendly mask, but it's fundamentally incoherent and inconsistent, since it's just a mask, implemented half-heartedly, by programmers who don't use it.
Ctrl+A is basically just an incantation. When people are presented by a bunch of incantations with no logical consistency, by a machine they aren't interested in, it's unsurprising they learn the bare minimum.
Is that trolling ?
Dude... she's not banging some Perl in emacs... She's writing words in Microsoft Word running on a Windows like a gazillion of people do in the 9-5 workforce, with the occasional excel spreadsheets and file manipulations in explorer.
Ctrl-a, ctrl-c, ctrl-v everywhere, all the time.
It has been for 30 years. The fact it has no logical consistency (although I am pretty sure ctrl-all is a good candidate) it's not an excuse to forget about it everyday. Does she forget where the brake pedal is in her car ?
I am dev. I know computers are voodoo and run on magic.
But it's not a reason to forget how to turn it on every morning.