[PLUG-TALK] Horses Asses and Railways and Keyboards

Jeme A Brelin jeme at brelin.net
Mon Aug 1 23:29:58 PDT 2005


On Mon, 1 Aug 2005, spike spooner wrote:
> This is the main part of my question. I thought I detected irony in 
> Keith's line about using a QWERTY keyboard. If irony was intended, does 
> that mean Keith laments the QWERTY layout, or that he uses it? And if 
> so, why does he continue using it?

Of course I cannot give Keith's reasons for using QWERTY, but since no one 
asked, I'll tell you why I do:  Straight-up cultural dominance.

It's a pain to use keyboards not laid out like the one I use regularly. 
I've tried using other keyboard layouts and was always able to attain or 
exceed my QWERTY proficiency (by usual measurement standards of speed and 
accuracy) in the new layout, but my QWERTY proficiency declined 
significantly in the first hour or two of using the foreign keyboard. 
And since I rarely use a foreign keyboard for more than an hour, this was 
a serious problem.

I didn't notice any real change in the symptoms I associate with 
repetitive strain when using non-QWERTY layouts.

So I had to ask myself:  Why NOT use QWERTY?

Turns out, typing speed and accuracy are not a problem for me.  I type as 
quickly and accurately as I need to type.   In fact, my typing speed seems 
ideally suited to the speed at which I can put english sentences together 
to express my ideas.  If I were to type much faster, I would have to 
probably remove many of those words as I revised and self-editted. 
Essentially there would be no net gain.

And so that's where I sit.  I use QWERTY because it's totally adequate for 
my needs.  Efficiency for efficiency's sake doesn't really seem like a 
worthwhile thing to pursue.

J.
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      Jeme A Brelin
     jeme at brelin.net
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