What Is Your Favourite Keyboard Key?

Post 540

Erm, Shift. Can I go home, now? No? Oh, fiddlesticks. Normally, readers, when I have an uninteresting question, I do all I can in this first paragraph to encourage you to read on with promises that it’s gonna get really interesting. Erm, this one probably isn’t gonna get very interesting. So, erm, I’ll see you next time. For anyone mad enough to stay, let’s take a look at the exciting world of keyboards! Oh, God, I’m already bored…

Facts. Some facts. That’ll get the ball rolling. Erm, ah, yes. Remington manufactured the first typewriter to include both upper and lower case letters via a shift key. Interesting because they also made guns. And still do, actually. But not typewriters, anymore. Sounds a bit like Apple opening a chain of florists…

That typewriter was a Sholes and Glidden, the first to use a QWERTY layout (if you look at your keyboard, the letters on the upper left spell out ‘QWERTY’). Some argue that the keys were placed in this position to slow down workers so the keys of the typewriter wouldn’t stick. But things weren’t always rosy for QWERTY. In 1932, August Dvorak came to strike it down.

He invented the Dvorak layout, placing the vowels on the upper row. This was hugely beneficial and much more efficient. Using this layout, a typist can type 400 of the most common words just using the top row, compared with 100 on a QWERTY layout. But, like with Mac computers, all sane people could see PC was the best option. And so QWERTY lived to fight on another day.

And fight it did. New layouts were subsequently flung at QWERTY from every direction. The iKare, the Colemak, the QWPR, the Colman and the Neo. In fact, all countries on Earth use their own layouts and variations. The UK uses a QWERTY keyboard layout, as does America, except they have one additional key, with several keys also in different locations.

Some folk just love to type. Using the Dvorak keyboard, the second most popular layout, Barbara Blackburn set a typing record of 212 words per minute. But here’s a kick in the crotch of Dvorak enthusiasts. The world typing record including all keyboard layouts was actually set using a QWERTY layout. Stella Pajunas typed 216 words per minute. A world record. SET IN 1946! That’s nearly 70 years ago! Dear God…

Yes, the keyboard is a remarkable invention. Heck, the most used keyboard layout hasn’t really changed that much from its early days on typewriters, not only surviving the digital age, but thriving in it. And look, I know keyboards aren’t particularly interesting inventions, but they are important. They’re something we take for granted. But do I have a favourite keyboard key?

No. Of course not.

That would be insane…

Toodle-pip :)(:


Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

The Indelible Life of Me
New Post Every Sunday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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