CHAT: Keyboard (Was: YAC: or more exactly: yet anotherconlang sketch)
|From:||Robert Hailman <robert@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 2, 2000, 3:21|
Roger Mills wrote:
> Robert Hailman, replying:
> >> Au contraire. "ij" is fairly common, so it saves a key stroke. More
> >> importantly, a fast touch-typist would tend to get the i and j keys
> >> up quite frequently.
> >If someone's switching i and j in "ij", it probably means they are
> >typing to fast for their own good.>
> Oh you young'uns.....
> Not switching; it's simply that the i and j key-arms are so close together
> that even if you hit them in the right order-- fast-- they can get jammed.
> Typists prided themselves on their speed; there were even competitions.
Ah, yes, now I understand. I misunderstood you, that makes perfect
sense. I've used manual typewriters before, I could see where that would
be a problem.
> The history of the development of the typewriter keyboard is interesting,
> but need not be gone into here...... And it's been a while since I looked
> at the mechanism of a manual typewriter... but: the familiar qwertyuiop
> layout arose as a compromise between finger-strength, letter-frequency, and
> mechanical action. In MOST (European and English) languages, the
> sequence -ij- is fairly uncommon, so the arms for those letters could be
> close together, also they are struck by the strongest fingers (resp. Right
> hand 3d and index). Unfortunately, Dutch is the exception here, and got
> short shrift.... Probably European typists everywhere found comparable
> glitches. The usual location for acute/(Shift) grave was way out in right
> field, where the computer has ]/}; not convenient for Spaniards and French.
I know a little about the development of the keyboard. I always thought
the acute and grave accents were in an odd place, I could see how people
could not like them.
> With the computer, there no real reason to continue qwerty......, tho I've
> not tried an abcdefg.... keyboard. Old dogs, new tricks, who needs it.
> (My aunt taught shorthand/typing 1930-65-- and taught me. The Gregg
> shorthand never quite took, sorry to say-- tho it's interesting and rather
> beautiful. But the point of note-taking in college is NOT to take down every
> bloody word!!)
I've never come across an abcdefg... keyboard, or heard of one. I do
know of the Dvorak layout, but I've never seen a Dvorak keyboard
> >It is faster, and it does save space, granted. It seems to me, though,
> >that if you can represent "ij" with two keys that already exist, there
> >are better things to do with the extra key, such as accents, like Irina
> >changed her 'ij' key to.
> True enough; I filed the dot off the ? to make a nice glottal
Not a bad idea, unless you're writing things that require question
marks. I suppose you could always overprint a period...
> >.... I have an electric typewriter I got for $5 at a
> >garage sale, although I don't use it often. It does use those typeballs
> >that are supposedly changable, so that you can get more than one
> >typeface, but I don't have more than the Courier 10cpi ball that came
> >with the typewriter. I'd use it more if I had more than one ball.
> I wouldn't dream of commenting on that last sentence (biting tongue
> hard)...;-))))However, hang onto that machine-- in 50 years it will be a
> valuable antique and could finance your retirement-- or at least, provide
> dinner in a good restaurant.
LOL! I should have noticed I was setting myself up for that, but I
I intend to hold on to the typewriter, I do use it from time to time. I
need to replace the correction ribbon, I did come across an extra one
somewhere, but I haven't put it in. I still only have one ball, though.
Type ball, that is. :o)
I'm going to make sure my kids know what a typewriter is, and how to use
it and all - voice recognition is my enemy, I can write better than I