Where does the name 'QWERTY keyboard' come from?

Answer


Before the answer, here is something you can try at home. Type 'QWERTY.' Notice the placement of those letters on your keyboard?

Most likely, it came from the top six keys, starting with leftmost: they read exactly 'q', 'w', 'e', 'r', 't', 'y'. It is used to identify the "standard", canonical layout (as opposed to Dvorak keyboards).

How this layout was designed is a historical matter.

Back when people used typewriters, the keys were grouped alphabetically. This caused problems, however, because this meant that the most common letters were groped together. Back in those days, the typewriters were mechanical, and the hammers that printed the letters constantly became jammed. Thus the 'qwerty' keyboard was invented to space the most common letters away from each other. When word processing became electronic, the keyboard layout was so widespread that it would have been inefficient for people to learn how to type again.