What is QWERTY?

Modern computer keyboards include a confusing arrangement of letters. This arrangement is often referred to as “QWERTY” (pronounced kwer-tee), since it is the order of the first six letter keys in the upper left corner of the keyboard.

Although the QWERTY keyboard layout was originally developed for typewriters, it is still used in the digital age.

The QWERTY made its debut in 1872 in a device marketed as a typewriter by inventor Christopher Sholes. Some believe that the arrangement of the letters was designed to slow down typing in an effort to avoid blocking. It is believed, however, that the layout was designed to place pairs of common letters on opposite sides of the keyboard, making typing easier. Alternative layouts were introduced, such as the Dvorak version, but despite claims of superiority, the QWERTY keyboard survived. At this point, it seems that many people have learned the layout and are unwilling to relearn key locations, even though improved efficiency is promised.

The QWERTY keyboard is named for its top row of letters.

An interesting note about the QWERTY layout is that all the letters of the word “TYPEWRITER” are on the top line. Some believe that Sholes wanted to make it easier for sellers to show off his new invention, but it was probably just a coincidence.

The QWERTY keyboard is designed to avoid congestion on typewriters.

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