Today I have got another interesting topic lined up for you guys…’s called why are the keys on a keypad not arranged in alphabetical order??

Well, every day we do chatting on Whatsapp and Messenger with …..Well, I will not mention that ……. But the main thing is we never bother about anything.

If Isaac Newton would not have bothered about that apple fall, we would have not got the theory of gravitation……now just think about that loss.

Well remember this; everything that is around us is there for a reason …… so this also has a reason.

So, I want everyone to question everything that is happening around you and ……maybe …Just MAYBE …..You can discover something.

Now before discovering something, let’s take a look at this mystery

Today I am going to reveal the mystery behind this topic…………… by typing it out on my keypad.

So, let’s get straight into this:-

There is a good historical reason for this. In early days of the typewriter (in the mid-19th century) the keys were arranged lexicographically. The earliest popular design had only 2 rows with 13 characters each. However, this arrangement caused 2 major problems:

The type bars of the most commonly used combination letters of the alphabet (like TH and ST) was positioned close together, so when the keys were hit right after the other in rapid successions, the metallic arms/type bars responsible for creating an impression on paper would jam.

In early typewriters, printing point was located beneath the paper carriage, invisible to the operator – which forced the operator to raise the carriage in case of collision/mishaps between type bars.

Print on paper was due to Ink ribbon placed between type bar and paper. The type bar collides with paper with ink ribbon in between. If the frequently used keys are placed together – certain portions of ribbon (like St) would dry out relatively earlier – causing relative fade prints in those letters. This problem was quickly resolved with better quality ink ribbon – which caused internal diffusion of ink and ink quality was always evenly distributed throughout the ribbon.

A frequency study was conducted and multiple designs were made to ensure the bars won’t collide. Some early designs similar to QWERTY:

key 1

Here is a patented design which gained some popularity:

key 2

Within a decade or two QWERTY became very popular. The QWERTY design isn’t perfect. For example, only one vowel ‘A’ is in the home row even though 40% of words contain it. There number of other statistical flaws. But still, it allowed people to type faster.

When modern keyboard came into the picture – QWERTY design was continued. However, the modern keyword doesn’t face any problems like type bar mishap. However, once modern keyboard came into the picture it faced a lot of resistance for QWERTY lovers.

One serious competition came from the Dvorak design – which was developed in the 1940s.

Tests have proved that Dvorak is faster than QWERTY. It is especially popular among programmers who use a lot of non-alphabetical characters like punctuations and numbers too. Medically, QWERTY causes a lot of stress on fingers too. Also since most of the users are right handed – the Dvorak keyboard was optimised such that right handed people work more than left handed.

So, basically for those people who didn’t understand that stuff ….. Just for them … It is usually created to make your life easier.


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