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  • flap
    vt. 1. To unload a DECtape (so it goes flap, flap, flap...). Old-time hackers at MIT tell of the days when the disk... VIEW ENTIRE DEFINITION


  •  View Definition: QWERTY 

    QWERTY


    /kwer'tee/ [from the keycaps at the upper left] adj. Pertaining to a standard English-language typewriter keyboard (sometimes called the Sholes keyboard after its inventor), as opposed to Dvorak or foreign-language layouts or a {space-cadet keyboard} or APL keyboard.

    Historical note The QWERTY layout is a fine example of a fossil. It is sometimes said that it was designed to slow down the typist, but this is wrong; it was designed to allow *faster* typing --- under a constraint now long obsolete. In early typewriters, fast typing using nearby type-bars jammed the mechanism. So Sholes fiddled the layout to separate the letters of many common digraphs (he did a far from perfect job, though; `th', `tr', `ed', and `er', for example, each use two nearby keys). Also, putting the letters of `typewriter' on one line allowed it to be typed with particular speed and accuracy for demos. The jamming problem was essentially solved soon afterward by a suitable use of springs, but the keyboard layout lives on.

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