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QWERTY Keyboard

Many of my students over the years have asked me why the letters on the keyboard are laid out in the way they are. Why are they not alphabetical?

Since I learned how to type on a manual typewriter I can answer that question. I have experience with this.

When they first made the typewriter the arms would stick when brought together at the paper, for those typing fast. So they put letters that are used often next to each other on opposite sides of the keyboard. This helped alleviate keys from getting stuck for those who could type fast. This is why the letters are in the locations they are.

The name of the keyboard is from the first six (6) letters starting at the top left hand corner of the keyboard.  QWERTY

Why didn't it change with the computer
In the early 1980s when computers came out and no arms were used there was a chance to change the keyboard then but too many people in the working force already knew the keyboard, could type over 100 words per minute and did not want the keyboard to change.

Now that we are still using it on phones, tablets and computers it will be very hard to change it now.

Source: Personal experience &

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