The Letters on your KEYBOARD are MIXED UP - WHY??

                Computers have changed our lifestyle. We are in a digital world now. The word writing will soon be replaced with the word typing. Most of us use a Computer daily and obviously use the KEYBOARD for typing. In this post I am going to tell you some facts about the arrangement of LETTERS on the KEYBOARD.
                  Everytime I see my keyboard, a question comes into my mind why are the keys not arranged in the alphabetical order? Have you ever wondered why the letters on your keyboard are not arranged in alphabetical order?? Why are they MIXED up like this? Is there any reason behind this? Is it to make the TYPIST more comfortable while typing?? Come, lets check out why are they so.

               The modern keyboard called by the name QWERTY, has the LETTERS arranged in the same order as that of a TYPEWRITER. The name QWERTY comes from the first 6 letters of the keyboard. Lets see who made this layout and why didnt they arrange them in the alphabetical order.

                The "WRITING MACHINE" ( the name with which the machine was patented) was invented by Christopher in early 1870's and he patented it in the year 1867. The first WRITING MACHINE had only two rows and the letters were arranged in alphabetical order with numbers from 2 to 9. O and I were used for the numbers 1 and 0.          
- 3 5 7 9 N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 2 4 6 8 . A B C D E F G H I J K L M
              The arrangement of the letters were then changed because of some problems. The early WRITING MACHINE was a completely MECHANICAL machine consisting of LEVERS and Metal Indenters which stroked on the INK RIBBON t make an impression on the paper. As there were so many levers in the machine there was a problem of JAMMING. The levers got jammed when letters placed near by were typed successively. To avoid this problem, the letter pairs like 'st', 'th' which are used most frequently were placed apart. Placing them apart gave sufficient time for the LEVERS to come back to their original position. The new layout was actually designed to SLOW DOWN TYPISTS and avoid the problem of jamming.

                     Sholes tried hard for next five years to perfect his invention and made many arrangements to the original layout which was in alphabetical order. Sholes did the rearrangement based on his research on LETTER-PAIR FREQUENCY. This new arrangement had 4 rows of keys as shown below moving all the 6 vowels A, E, I, O, U and Y ( Y is also considered as a vowel when there are no other vowels in a word).

  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 -
    A E I . ? Y U O ,

                   In 1873, the manufacturing rights of the machine was sold to E.Remmington and Sons. The company again arranged the LETTERS. There is an interesting fact here. Try typing the word "TYPEWRITER". Did you notice something? All the letters you typed are in the FIRST ROW of your keyboard. The BRAND NAME of the machine was TYPEWRITER and it is said that the company wanted the letters of their brand name on the TOP. This layout is still being used as it has become a standard all around the world.

                   The SHIFT key was introduced in the 1878 version of the TYPEWRITER to shift between upper and lower case of the Alphabets. In modern keyboard we have so many keys additional to that found in the Typewriter.

                  This is how the layout of the Keys in the KEYBOARD evolved. Hope I have erased a question from your mind about the keys on your keyboard. Please see my other FACTS too. Thank you :)



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