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It seems to be silly question, but i really wonder 'Why keyboard keys are not placed in alphabetical order?' Is there any specific reason?

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closed as off topic by Zoredache, Jeff Atwood Jun 19 '09 at 6:10

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dude, that's not really server/sysadmin related is it? I'm not going to DV it because I'm a happy camper but you should consider looking on wikipedia or googling it - it's all we'd do. –  Chopper3 Jun 18 '09 at 9:10
    
google "QWERTY History" –  Joseph Kern Jun 18 '09 at 9:15
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4 Answers

This is a good question with no simple answer.

Most people think the reason is that for touch typists the most often used characters are typed with the fingers that are stronger. This is not really true. You can easily check this yourself with a Letter Frequency table and a Touch Typing diagram.

The real reason is:

If you hit two keys that are next to each other on a mechanical typewriter simultaneously or in quick succession they lock up and the typewriter can even get damaged.

So the designers tried to spread out the keys which were close in often used words or phrases to minimize this effect. Mechanical typewriters are long gone, but the layout stayed because touch typists are used to it.

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Of course the side effect of this is, keyboards are actually designed to slow down the speed you type at. –  Richard Slater Jun 18 '09 at 9:36
    
@Richard Slater: Exactly, and this is where alternative keyboard layouts come into play. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Jun 18 '09 at 9:48
    
Hmm, I've heard this said hundreds of time, but I've also heard it said that it's a common myth... –  Mark Henderson Jun 18 '09 at 21:19
    
Maybe, but it's not as easy to prove or disprove as the letter frequency myth... –  Ludwig Weinzierl Jun 18 '09 at 21:49
    
I don't agree that spacing the keys out would actually make you slower. If anything, using keys that are further spaced apart allows you to type faster since you can use alternating fingers and can be already pressing the next key when the previous is on the rebound. –  Kamil Kisiel Jun 18 '09 at 22:23
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I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but all the letters required to spell the word "typewriter" are on the top row. Think "product demo".

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Takes all three rowes for that one :-) –  ldigas Jun 19 '09 at 1:52
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Because on the originals typewriting machines the most frequently used letters were spaced away to avoid mechanics pieces to be tired quickly.

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It is fascinating how Wikipedia and Google are difficult to use sometimes:

google for: reason for keyboard layout

First one that pops up will be QWERTY on Wikipedia, and there's a short story explaining the layout from several points of view.

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