Why Are Letters on Keyboards So Oddly Arranged? Here’s a Primer on the Origins of QWERTY!

Thank you, Mavis Beacon.

Keyboards are literally where human beings communication with computers. Considering how ubiquitous they are, it is odd that many of us don’t know why keyboards are so chaotically arranged. Well, thanks to BBC, we have a very helpful primer. Here’s how it starts:

It isn’t easy to type “QWERTY” on a qwerty keyboard.

My left-hand little finger holds the shift key, then the other fingers of my left hand clumsily crab sideways across the upper row. Q-W-E-R-T-Y.

There’s a lesson here: it matters where the keys sit on your keyboard. There are good arrangements and bad ones.

Many people think that qwerty is a bad one – in fact, that it was deliberately designed to be slow and awkward.

Could that be true? And why do economists, of all people, argue about this?

It turns out that the stakes are higher than they might first appear.

Read the rest over on BBC.

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