Is there any way I can have I not refer to the imaginary unit?

I like the letter I, it's a terrible choice of letter for the imaginary unit, and I almost never input I directly anyway.

I would have thought there would be a way of shadowing any function I don't want to address within a particular scope, and have that scope be the one used by my notebook. But I can't figure out how to do that.

The docs for Locked do not explain this.

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    $\begingroup$ There isn't. It's "bulletproof". I recommend that you read the documentation on Locked. $\endgroup$ – JungHwan Min Aug 24 '16 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ When I was a beginner of Mathematica, I disliked I being a system symbol since my variables and function names in applications were best called I. A "trick" around this is to use Greek capital iota (alias: esc-I-esc), which looks exactly like the Latin I. With more experience, I trained myself to have all my variables begin with lower case letter (since the capital ones are always reserved for system variables anyway). $\endgroup$ – QuantumDot Aug 24 '16 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ I is a terrible choice of letter for a variable name (but reasonable for a system-level constant)... I'm so glad that they locked it down.🙏 $\endgroup$ – rm -rf Aug 24 '16 at 2:28
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    $\begingroup$ If you really want I, try \[CapitalIota] (input as Esc I Esc). Likewise, \[CapitalNu] for N $\endgroup$ – rm -rf Aug 24 '16 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you might consider writing yourself a pair of transpilers: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-to-source_compiler With the tap of a key the text in your word processor would be translated from your desired form into Mathematica's required form, sent to Mathematica, the code runs and the resulting notebook is translated back to precisely your desired form. That will let you use every name exactly the way you want. $\endgroup$ – Bill Aug 24 '16 at 3:44

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