Re: Mixed up priorities

From: Robert A. Rosenberg (
Date: Fri Nov 05 1999 - 14:49:55 EST

At 11:41 PM 10/24/1999 -0700, wrote:

> >Probably because the clerks of the Habsburg Empire that
> started using typewriters in Slovakia got them from elsewhere
> and didn't use them to write Slovakian? Because Slovaks used
> Czech as their written language from the 15th to the 19th
> century?
> If Thais could develop their own typewriters, I don't see why
> Slovaks couldn't also do so. At least, as far as technology is
> concerned. If there were other sociolinguistic factors involved
> to explain why they wouldn't have done so, however, that's
> another matter.
> >Come on, if typewriters are any indication of a people's
> cleverness, then the QWERTY system will forever exclude western
> civilization from any claim to intelligence.
> Surely you know of the practical reasons for why the QWERTY
> layout was developed? (Or is the story I've heard repeatedly
> about performance limitations of the mechanisms just a load of
> dingoes kidneys?)

There are two (supposed) reasons. The first was to slow the typist down so
the keys did not jam. The second was to allow the salesman to be trained to
make the usage of the machine look easy by having them use the word
"typewriter" as a sample word to be typed. This can be done very fast and
easy since all the keys needed are in the top row and thus the hand does
not need to be moved/relocated to type it.

> Peter

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