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QWERTY keyboard

(Pronounced kwer-tee). QWERTY refers to the arrangement of keys on a standard English computer keyboard or typewriter. The name derives from the first six characters on the top alphabetic line of the keyboard.

Arrangement of Characters

The arrangement of characters on a QWERTY keyboard was designed in 1868 by Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter. According to popular myth, Sholes arranged the keys in their odd fashion to prevent jamming on mechanical typewriters by separating commonly used letter combinations. However, there is no evidence to supportthis assertion, except that the arrangement does, in fact, inhibit fast typing.

New Keyboards

With the emergence of ball-head electric typewriters and computer keyboards, on which jamming is not an issue, new keyboards designed for speed typing have been invented. The best-known is called a Dvorak keyboard. Despite their more rational designs, these new keyboards have not received wide acceptance. The AZERTY keyboard is the French version of the standard QWERTY keyboard.

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