Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The original typewriter, invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868, never imagined that typewriting would be faster than handwriting, which is usually around 20 words per minute or less. The machine was designed in an alphabetical fashion and when a typist pressed a key, a lever would come up with an inked letter and leave the letter's impression on the paper. The problem was that the levers jammed easily so Sholes obtained a list of the most common letters used in English, and reconfigured the keyboard by splitting up those keys to slow down typing. Think about that. The QWERTY design is configured to slow you down. -- Patricia Harmon: The Mind of an Inventor, Strategic Book Publishing, Dunham (2010).

An inked letter? No. In the early Type-Writer Mr. Christopher Latham Sholes used the carbon paper to make the impression, and then used the inked ribbon. Furthermore, he never intended to slow down typing. In fact "th", most-commonly-typed letter sequence in English, is placed adjacently on the QWERTY keyboard. "The QWERTY design is configured to slow you down" is nothing but a hoax by Mr. Robert Parkinson, as I mentioned before.


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