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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 > tangled > >> 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 anywhere.
> >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 > stop.......
Not a bad idea, unless you're writing things that require question marks. I suppose you could always overprint a period...
> (snippy) > >.... 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 didn't. :o) 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 can talk. -- Robert