What Are Some Facts About the QWERTY Keyboard Layout?


Quick Answer

Frank McGurrin, a court stenographer and typing teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah, was the first person to memorize the QWERTY keyboard layout. He is also credited with inventing the touch-typing method, by which typists can enter text without looking at the keys. Four 10-letter words that use only the letters in the top row of the keyboard are "perpetuity," "proprietor," "repertoire" and "typewriter."

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Full Answer

Originally the typewriter had positioned its keys in two rows, arranged in alphabetical order. This caused the keys to get stuck when pressed quickly in succession. The inventor of the typewriter, Christopher Latham Sholes, collaborated with an educator, Amos Densmore, to design the layout of the keyboard in a manner that would slow typists down to prevent such jamming. The new design placed the most common two-character combinations in English words at the opposite ends of the keyboard, so that it would be difficult for typists to find the keys. This method actually resulted in faster typing because the keys did not keep jamming.

The left side of the keyboard contains 15 of the 26 letters in the alphabet. There are thousands of words that use only the left-hand letters, while there are only a few hundred words that use only the right-hand letters.

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