Definition of QWERTY
: a standard typewriter or computer keyboard —called also QWERTY keyboard
QWERTY was our Word of the Day on 10/09/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
If you look at the topmost row of letters on your computer keyboard, you’ll see where the QWERTY got its name. Why did Christopher Latham Sholes choose that particular arrangement of letters when he was developing the modern typewriter in the late 1860s and early 1870s? Popular myth holds that the QWERTY maximizes efficiency by placing the most often used letters in the most accessible places, but the truth is that the QWERTY was actually designed to slow typists down. Sholes’s first typewriters were cumbersome and jammed easily if the keys were pressed too fast, so he picked letter positions that let the typist go faster than a pen, but not fast enough to bollix the machine.
Origin and Etymology of qwerty
from the first six letters in the second row of the keyboard
First Known Use: 1929See Words from the same year
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