The Keyboard

I learned to type in the summer before high school.  That was just a little before the dawn of recorded time.  I didn’t want to know how to type, but I needed the credit.  I knew absolutely that I would have a secretary.  What I did not know was about the coming of the personal computer.  Oops.  I should have practiced more.

So have you ever wondered why the letters on a typewriter keyboard (and a computer keyboard) are arranged so strangely?  Well, the first typewriters had mechanical keys (you’ve seen them in the movies).  A typist would strike a key and a metal arm with a letter at the end would swing up and strike a carbon ribbon against a piece of paper.  It was a slow and unwieldy process.

So the keys were arranged as they were to slow the process down in order to prevent the keys from being struck too quickly and tangling up.  It has never changed.


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