Why do we have a QWERTY keyboard instead of putting the letters in alphabetical order?

Why do we have a QWERTY keyboard instead of putting the letters in alphabetical order?

QWERTY keyboard

Great question! That question shocked me when I was a child. And so being an elder, I decided to research it and write a paper about it.

Turn the clock back. About 150 years ago, all letters and business letters were written by hand. Most likely, they were written using a pen that had to be dipped in ink after writing every word or two. The writing was slow and unpleasant.

Then some clever inventors built a machine for typing. The first typewriters were large heavy metal machines that acted like pianos.

Have you ever seen a real piano inside? You press a key and some clever lever collides with the right hammer to create a note that is just the right piano string.

The early typewriters were similar to this. It had all these levers with a metal alphabet letter at the end. You had to press a letter key very hard to cross the metal lever and hit the paper. Press the A button and A lever will hit the paper and type A. The paper will then move slightly to the left, so after pressing the next key, the next letter sits next to A. And press the key and you can type the word, or even a whole book.

The first machine had letters in alphabetical order. The trouble was that if you hit two keys quickly, the lever gets jammed. When both keys on the keyboard are close to each other, the jam is most likely. Jams can be reduced by placing the letters in new order.

Christopher Sholes was an American inventor who was the most successful at reducing jams. They tried different sequences, always trying to minimize the need to type two keys passing simultaneously.

The best order they could find was similar to the QWERTY keyboard we all use today.

To see why this keyboard is called QWERTY, check its top row.

United States invention to the Remington Company. In the 1870s, that company created and sold the first commercially successful typewriter. He used the QWERTY keyboard.

Until 100 years after the Remington typewriter arrived, a large number of people around the world were trained to become touch typists (meaning they could even type without looking at the keyboard).

He was employed to type letters and all other kinds of things for business and government. Because so many people became so skilled at using this QWERTY, it became very difficult to convert all keyboards to any other important order.

Several other key scenes of the keys have been tried. Some claimed that their command is easier or faster to learn than QWERTY. But none proved to be good enough to defeat QWERTY. It seems that we are sticking to this layout, even though now jam is not a problem.

QWERTY was developed for the English language. Some other languages ​​use variations. For example, AZERTY is commonly used for French, QWERTZ for German, and QZERTY for Italian. Perhaps you can find someone from India, Thailand, Japan, Korea or China. Ask them to show the keyboard used in their language.

Now, on any keyboard, feel the F and J keys carefully and find some small bulges. Place your first fingers on those keys, and your other fingers in the same line. Your left fingers should be on ASDF and your right on JKL. These are called "home keys".

Rest your fingers lightly on the home keys. Write other letters by moving just one finger up or down and maybe a little sideways. Learn to do this quickly, without looking at your fingers and you can "touch type"!

Now learning to type with a computer is easy, even if QWERTY seems awkward at first. There are so many good software to help (there may be some in your school), some are making it feel like a game.

Find the software you like, and do some practice. It may seem daunting at first, but you will soon become adept at it. Find one or two friends and practice it together. Or maybe make it a competition. You will never be able to regret this kind of touch type.

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