I wrote about the keyboard a few months ago:
The keyboard configuration that is most common is the QWERTY keyboard, but there are different ones out there based on the frequency of keystrokes. I don’t think the QWERTY is the most efficient, but I don’t know which one is—I’m sure it would be hard to get all businesses and industries on board to change it, just like ignoring the metric system (Yeah, I’m talking to you, USA).
A few days later, I was reading a book which mentioned the invention of the typewriter. The reason for the conventional configuration was to slow down the rate of typing because the strikers would jam if adjacent keys were pressed too quickly in succession. The most common letters were spread out to achieve this.
There are keyboard configurations that concentrate most frequent letters under the fingers, that reduce effort by 95% and increase speed by 50% but this was done well after the QWERTY set-up was entrenched in the world.
Now, let’s move on to Part II: The Top Row (almost)
Most punctuation is found in the lower right section of the keyboard leaving the top row (when it was a typewriter) for numbers — which is odd since they are also on the backwards phone keypad on the right — and the symbols that we all know are used for when we want to use cuss words.
Here is a handy cheat-sheet for you to print out so that you will never forget the official nomenclature*.
The Symbols [crash!](not cymbals)
|`||The Angry Eyebrow|
|@||The Wrong Symbol for Copyright|
|#||The Make Up Your Mind, Number, Pound, or Hashtag|
|$||The Can I Have Some More of This?|
|%||The I Better Not Have to Calculate That|
|^||The Funny Hat|
|&||The Fun to Say and Hear People Say the What?|
|*||The There’s Something Cool at the End|
|)||The Did You Catch That?|
|–||The Take-away or Joiner|
|_||The Space You Can See|
|+||The Easier Than %|
|=||The I’m the Same As|
|—||The How Do You Get That, I Don’t See That Symbol on the Keyboard?|
That’s all the weirdness for today.
*I have never used that word in my writing…ever.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
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