Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Slow down, you're moving too fast: got to make the typing last....

You know how sometimes you discover that something you'd believed for ages turns out to be a myth? Well, today I discovered that the story of how the QWERTY keyboard was deliberately designed to slow down typists to prevent jams on old mechanical typewriters, and was still around today only because of apathy, is just such a heap of tosh.

Here is a good article from The Economist on a number of "myths of market failure", such as lighthouses, beekeeping and QWERTY. (It's not just of interest to lighthouse-keepers with bees stuck in their manual typewriters.)

2 Comments:

At 22 April, 2009 07:37, Anonymous Phil said...

I've seen that argument, and I'm not entirely convinced. The Dvorak layout may not be faster for a good typist, but it's definitely more ergonomic - in QWERTY only one of the five most commonly-used letters in the English language is on the home row, and that's under the little finger.

 
At 27 April, 2009 21:12, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

The article does not explain why Qwerty was adopted, only that Dvorak has not proven to be faster. What is the myth then, just the speed difference?

 

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