QWERTY

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QWERTY

(hardware)
/kwer'tee/ (From the top left row of letter keys of most keyboards) Pertaining to a standard English-language typewriter keyboard (sometimes called the Sholes keyboard after its inventor), as opposed to Dvorak or foreign-language layouts (e.g. "keyboard AZERTY" in french-speaking countries) or a space-cadet keyboard or APL keyboard.

The QWERTY layout is a fine example of a fossil. It is sometimes said that it was designed to slow down the typist, but this is wrong; it was designed to allow *faster* typing - under a constraint now long obsolete. In early typewriters, fast typing using nearby type-bars jammed the mechanism. So Sholes fiddled the layout to separate the letters of many common digraphs (he did a far from perfect job, though; "th", "tr", "ed", and "er", for example, each use two nearby keys). Also, putting the letters of "typewriter" on one line allowed it to be typed with particular speed and accuracy for demos. The jamming problem was essentially solved soon afterward by a suitable use of springs, but the keyboard layout lives on.
References in periodicals archive ?
The clever QWERT keyboard is small and takes some acclamation, but is perhaps faster than the Palm O/S's Graffiti[R] (hand writing) method of input.
Until recently known only among academics and devotees of Cuban literature, it has aptly been translated into English by a father and daughter team and retitled Qwert and the Wedding Gown.
Although as a whole Qwert and the Wedding Gown is not entirely satisfying, it ought to be celebrated for its humorous descriptions of bureaucracy as well as for delivering its political message without unnecessary rhetoric.