Historian: The standard "QWERTY" configuration of the keys on typewriters and computer keyboards was originally desig...

Minh on July 21, 2015

Help?

Why E and not C? Thank you!

1 Reply

Melody on August 5, 2015

We are told that the standard "QWERTY" configuration on typewriters and computer keyboards was originally designed to be purposefully awkward and limit typing speed because the typewriter would jam when too many adjacent keys were typed in succession.

We also know that today experiments show that there are other keyboard configurations that are more efficient than QWERTY, which can double typing speed while tremendously reducing typing effort.

However, the expense and inconvenience of switching to new keyboard configurations prevents any configuration other than QWERTY from gaining widespread use.

The issue with answer choice (C) is that it is not supported by the statements made by the historian. Even if the designers of early typewriters had foreseen the issue that arose with the QWERTY configuration once technology brought about computers, they would STILL have proposed the QWERTY configuration because the issue with typewriter, i.e. that pressing too many adjacent keys would jam the typewriter, still stood.

Remember, the QWERTY configuration was proposed to battle this exact deficiency in the typewriter. Thus, even if the early typewriter designers foresaw the future issues with technology, they would have still kept the QWERTY configuration to battle the issue at hand.

Answer choice (E) is the correct answer because we see that the QWERTY keyboard was designed to tackle issues with the typewriter, and so was not efficient for the computer keyboard. However, if the keyboard had been designed for computers, then efficiency and easy of use for the computer would have been in the forefront of priorities for the keyboard designers, i.e. it would not have been designed to limit typing speed.

Thus, answer choice (E) is most strongly supported by the historian's statements.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have ay other questions.